Put Leadership into Action with the Lead4Change DECA Challenge

September 12, 2022

Submissions due by February 10, 2023

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year. Lead4Change is excited to be starting our 11th year!

To show how we’ve grown, check out these stats:

  • There are more than 17,000 educators registered in the Lead4Change member community.
  • Educator members come from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Nearly two million students across the U.S. have been involved in Lead4Change.
  • Lead4Change has given away more than $2.6 million in grants to schools and community charities so that student teams can continue the work they started in their Lead4Change service project.
  • Lead4Change has partnered with DECA to share our program to U.S. chapters for the last six years.

Are you missing out? Why not register today? It is free and easy to get started. We’ve done all the work, now you can start the lessons!

The bonus? You can use the lessons to create and implement an awesome service project – which can then be used for DECA competitive events AND the Lead4Change Challenge! Our challenge offers the opportunity to win up to $10,000 for your school or charity. With over 70 winners annually, this could be your year!

Students: Ask your teacher or chapter advisor to take a look at Lead4Change.

Advisors: Register and download the lessons – your students can do the lessons in teams and come away with a fully completed service project. Be the coach and watch the results! If your students engage in community service, let’s ensure that they recognize and practice leadership skills along the way. We want emerging leaders to know and understand how to make an impact on the needs around them.

The Lead4Change DECA Challenge is a component of the Lead4Change Student Leadership Program. Demonstrate your leadership skills by being involved with your community and submitting a community service project once you finish the six-lesson or 12-lesson track that aligns with 21st Century Skills. Work in teams (three or more students with an adult sponsor) and do a project as you go through the lessons.

If 10 entries are submitted from DECA chapters by the February 10, 2023 deadline, DECA chapters will be eligible for a special award track from Lead4Change. If it meets the guidelines of each, this means that your project could earn recognition in the campaign or competitive event, Lead4Change Challenge and DECA/Lead4Change Challenge — three opportunities for the project all while doing good in your community.

Challenge Timeline

  • Challenge Submissions Begins: September 2022
  • Submission Deadline: February 10, 2023
  • Top 3 Teams Travel to ICDC: April 22-25, 2023*

*Eligibility to attend DECA’s ICDC is determined by the chartered association advisor based on their rules and regulations. Finalists should consult with their chartered association advisor for eligibility guidelines and gain approval from their chapter advisor to attend the conference.


Lead4Change Student Leadership Program is a free program for students in 6-12 grade.Students learn leadership skills then practice these skills by finding a need in their community and completing a service project for a chance to win up to $10,000. Lead4Change is fully funded by David Novak Leadership, Inc.

Christy Rutherford is DECA's education manager. She enhances and manages an educational framework for DECA’s comprehensive learning program ensuring that all student programs are aligned to National Curriculum Standards. Christy also leads the advisor professional learning series and programs to support local chapter advisors.

Discussion Questions

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Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:

Instructional Area(s):

Performance Indicators:

Identify resources needed for project
Develop project plan
Manage project team
Demonstrate initiative
Initiate project
Manage project schedule