How Decatur DECA is Empowering Future Leaders through The Career Club

Nov 29, 2023

Contributed by Ally Phan | Decatur DECA, WA

Over the last few months, three Decatur High School DECA officers have led members through career exploration, instilled confidence and fostered hands-on learning to help students discover their potential career paths.

After recognizing the significant gap between classroom learning and real-world professional experiences, Jaylah Lara, VP of Leadership, saw the opportunity to create a platform for high school and college students to explore unique careers while gaining valuable professional skills. She brought the idea to fellow officers Ally Phan and Calista Nolasco, and by utilizing the skills they've learned as DECA members, The Career Club was born!

The Career Club is an all-in-one career exploration database and community that aims to provide students with tactical resources and mentorship, empowering them to discover and pursue careers in business and beyond confidently.

Since October, the team has led five successful workshops in collaboration with incredible industry leaders, from Larz May, founder of the ed-tech company #HALFTHESTORY, to Gia Lee, Chief Strategy Officer at NinetyEight. "How do you use LinkedIn as a student?" and "What is it like starting a Gen Z marketing agency straight out of college?" are just a few of the questions we've answered through these workshops.

At 'The Key to Personal Branding' virtual workshop, students got to hear from Shirah Benarde, the founder of NightCap, a company featured on ABC’s Shark Tank for its drink-spiking prevention products. During the one-hour mentorship session, Bernarde shared her entrepreneurial journey and the role that personal branding has played in her impressive career. Students then learned about 'elevator pitches,’ created their own and practiced presenting them to one another.

The Career Club is positively impacting Decatur High School and young leaders across the U.S.

“We are excited to continue connecting students with mentors and inspiring the next generation to take charge of their futures!” - Ally, Jaylah and Calista.

Curious to learn more? Follow our Decatur DECA @decatur.deca and the Career Club @thecareerclubb on Instagram and subscribe to the latest updates at


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