How Collegiate DECA Has Changed My Life
A little backstory
Let’s rewind to the end of the 2018 #DECAICDC in Atlanta, Georgia. As I sit in the stadium, it dawns on me that my final DECA conference did not have the ideal ending. I never ran for a chartered association officer position, I wasn’t called on stage to win DECA glass and my best friend ran for executive office and was not elected. After being a member for four years, I was sad and didn’t want my DECA experience to end with regret. That’s when I decided Collegiate DECA was my next stop, my second chance at fulfilling my DECA dreams.
A new beginning
Last year when I first joined Collegiate DECA, I was nervous about starting a new chapter in my DECA Story. New people, new conferences, new opportunities… However, within my first month I attended a conference where they had applications to become a chartered association officer. So, I applied, as a freshmen… and got elected! I was Arizona Collegiate DECA’s new Vice President of Marketing. Being an officer was something I had always wanted to check off my DECA bucket list. Being an officer gave me the skills to apply and become a full-time car salesmen. As it turns out, my manager was a DECA alum, which was a really good conversation to have in a job interview. After a life-changing year as a chartered association officer, which involved running multiple social media accounts, planning conferences and presenting workshops, I knew my passion for DECA was at its all-time high. I knew I wanted to take my 5+ years of experience in DECA and run for Collegiate DECA executive office.
Living the dream
As my term as chartered association officer was coming to an end, I submitted my application and was officially announced as Arizona’s candidate for Collegiate DECA Executive President. The rush of pride and joy that I got from knowing I’d be representing my state at the international level was amazing. I planned my campaign, and now it was time for the show. (Remember, I’m a freshman in College, it’s my first year in Collegiate DECA and I’m running for Executive President). This is my dream, it’s my DECA dream and Collegiate DECA was making it come true. After over 20 caucuses, 2 speeches in front of the voting delegates and a fun trip to Disney World, it was time for closing session. My heart was racing. I was silent and nervous. All the awards had been presented, meaning it was time to announce the new team. My whole world froze. Then, I heard my name in the same sentence as “New Executive President” and shot up from my seat in pure joy. I rushed to the stage and stood by the four people who would soon become some of the closest people in my life. My ultimate dream has come true, my hard work paid off, and I became the person I always knew I could be.
My entire life changed so drastically in just a single year with Collegiate DECA and so could yours! Join Collegiate DECA, be a leader in your chapter or association, win your competitions and even run for office if that’s what you’ve always wanted. High School DECA isn’t the end of your journey, it’s just the beginning. Reach out to me or any of my officer team for more info and details about Collegiate DECA, we can’t wait to meet you all!