An Experience To Remember

Amaree Clark | Akron North DECA

Through a generous contribution from AT&T, 27 DECA members from four schools were able to attend The Ultimate DECA Power Trip conference in November. The following is a reflection from one of the attendees.

I was shocked to be selected to attend the Power Trip conference. I had all of these thoughts in my head such as, “What? What about school? That’s too far! This is huge! Do I deserve it? Do I even want to go?”

I was an introverted, shy kid who had just been chosen to go to the Nation’s capital. I was scared out of my mind to travel 350 miles out of state with my teacher, a counselor and four other classmates, to practice competing in front of a judge who would dictate whether I was good enough to be there or not. But at the end of the day, #DECAPowerTrip was the best experience of my life and I am so glad that I didn’t back out.

We made it to D.C. and before the Opening Session, we toured the White House. It was amazing! There is a great feeling of being accomplished when you can say that you have been to the White House at 15 years of age.

When we walked into the room that evening for the Opening Session, all we saw were students from around the world. There were members from California, New York, Canada and even Germany. I have never seen so many different people from different parts of the world in the same room. The Opening Session started with a big countdown and an amazing violinist, SVET. Then, we heard from an amazing speaker, Eddie Slowikowski. He taught us the 4-minute formula. Have a Vision that helps you discover your purpose, Communicate and Trust in your team, and be ready for the Pain; You must be committed enough to fight through the pain.

I would say that the most important part of that day was our practice role-play. Before the role-play, I was not confident and very stressed. I did my role-play and achieved a score of 90 out of 100! I shockingly did better than expected. This role-play was very helpful for me. It made me feel more confident as a person. It also allowed me to get honest feedback so that I will be ready for district competition.

Later, we had a fun event called DECA After Dark. The night tour of Washington, D.C. was a breathtaking experience! Seeing the monuments at night was my favorite part of the trip. We saw The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, The Martin Luther King Memorial and so many other iconic locations.

The final day of Power Trip closed with one last amazing speaker, Dr. Laymon Hicks. He told us four main points: Be hungry for what you want; Be positive; If you fall, get back up; and finally, avoid the weapons of mass distraction, or anything that is keeping you from your goals. He told us to always be kind to people because you never know what is going on in their lives. He also pointed out that, “People only talk behind your back because you are standing in front of them.”

The Ultimate DECA Power Trip is an experience that we will never forget. The amazing people and experiences will always have a huge effect on us and our futures. In the beginning, I was scared and unsure of myself, but because of The Ultimate DECA Power Trip, I am more confident for the days to come, and I am so grateful for the exposure.

You should always take a chance and never let fear or doubts consume you. You may be missing out on a great opportunity. When given the chance, take a step out of your comfort zone. You won’t regret it. It could be an experience to remember!

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