DECA’s 10 Year Challenge

Sara Hassan | Clarkstown South DECA

We are still under the spell of 2019’s first viral photo challenge. Since last month, people have been using the #10YearChallenge to seek out their old photos and see how much different they’ve gotten. With nearly a 70-year history, DECA has been continuously changing and improving itself. Flashing back in time to DECA 2009, we can see the organization solidifying itself as one of the top educational opportunities for students.

DECA has transformed enormously over the past ten years. Ten years ago, DECA had a much different logo to the popular DECA diamond we all love today. In 2010, DECA made revolutionary changes- unveiling a new logo, mission statement, and direction. The DECA Diamond upholds the new face of the organization. DECA’s new logo is shaped like a diamond, and each of the four points represents one of the organization’s guiding principles. Before the rebranding, the logo did not consist of all the points representative of the organization’s mission.

DECA’s influence on its members has always been substantial as more than 70 percent of DECA members at the 2009 International Career Development Conference indicated that DECA has influenced their future career plans. Likewise, more than 65 percent reported that DECA has shaped their future college plans. Today, DECA has continued to impact the lives of more than ten million students, educators, school administrators and business professionals since it was founded in 1946. In 2019, DECA had prepared students not only for college but for future careers. DECA members are five times more likely to want to own their own business and nearly 450 high school DECA members already reportedly own their own business.

Ten years ago, the DECA Executive officer team was also as wondrous as today. The group consisted of Ryan Dyck as President, Julie Laven as North Atlantic Region VP, Nick Gerken as Central Region VP, Tori DeLeonardo As Southern Region VP and John Stiles As Western Region VP. Serving as the team of 09’-10’, the team provided leadership and represented numerous DECA members and chapters throughout America. Today, these leaders are still passionate about business, and they show it by being involved in business start-ups and working for some of the top American corporations.

DECA has also achieved financial growth by partnering with numerous business supporters. Many of whom sponsor the DECA Scholarship Program. DECA’s scholarship program has grown from the $4,750 awarded the first year, to well over $300,000 that are available today. These monetary partnerships have helped prepare and emerge future business leaders. DECA’s largest and most prestigious career conference was also thriving ten years ago. The 2009 International Career Development Conference was taken place in Anaheim, California, While this year, it is taking place in Orlando, Florida.

The continuous and innovative changes that have taken place throughout the years, only enforce the purpose and message that DECA hopes to spread. Thus, we can’t help but wonder where DECA will be in the next ten years.