Like for many chapters, this year’s DECA kickoff meeting was unique for Mountain View High School in Georgia. In mid-August, Kimya Rainge, DECA chapter advisor and marketing management pathway educator, held not only her first DECA meeting of the 2020-2021 school year but also her first virtual meeting.
Rainge understands the importance of the first meeting of the year to get students interested in joining DECA. Even though the meeting was held through Zoom, Rainge and her chapter officers still found a way to make it one of their best meetings yet.
“This was our most successful meeting yet,” said Rainge. “Our goal for the meeting was to show the students that we like to have fun even though DECA is about business.”
As a seven-year DECA chapter advisor, Rainge has learned that engaging her student officers helps to create more chapter engagement and increase membership. For this meeting, her president created the presentation and two of her vice presidents were responsible for the icebreaker.
The presentation included:
- An icebreaker game where students were assigned small groups in different Zoom breakout rooms. They had to brainstorm a business that would aid people during or after the pandemic and help people return to normal life. Then, one student from each group had to share with the larger group.
- Information on membership, reasons to join DECA and social media endeavors.
- A look at the community service plan for the year as well as fundraisers.
- Information on competition and a look at Mountain View’s online DECA e-class page.
At the end of the presentation, Rainge had one of her vice presidents consult with a local life coach to create a survey to check in on the students’ mental health. This survey concluded the presentation and from that meeting alone, Mountain View DECA quickly gained at least 10 new members within a few days.
“We wanted to connect with them beyond this monthly meeting if they need any support,” said Rainge. “I also think the visual piece of the meeting and the impact each slide had, including the DECA membership video, made the meeting so successful.”
For the remainder of the year, Rainge plans to maintain her success by engaging her officers and keeping a positive attitude.
Mountain View DECA meets once a month and each officer is assigned a different month to lead and present. Additionally, she plans to have two of her vice presidents create a new icebreaker for each meeting.
Beyond the virtual meetings, Rainge has set up creative virtual community service opportunities and virtual fundraisers that include a Disney themed virtual silent auction to raise money for the Georgia DECA Initiative and a Yankee Candle fundraiser
Overall, Rainge’s goal for the year is to engage students as much as possible.
“We want to connect with the students and use this opportunity to check in with them and make sure that we’re all staying positive in this situation that we’re in,” said Rainge. “We want to give them a chance to learn tools that they’ll use the rest of their lives.”