Various students race around the school to the upbeat tune of a popular pop song, collecting spare change in every classroom from teachers and students alike. To most, this would seem an odd endeavor, but that’s not the case for the altruistic members of DECA.
Throughout the school year, the Distributive Education Clubs of America program, or DECA, has participated in fundraisers such as the Miracle Minute, mentioned above, and the Dance Benefit Performance to benefit the non-profit organization Autism Speaks. The organization at our school is run by Julieanne Ash as well as co-advisors Jill Craig and Brenda Sims who are able to set up the greatly beneficial charity events. All in all, the goal of DECA is to give back to the community as well as their main goal of helping students with entrepreneurship opportunities later in life.
“I feel this is not only a great way to help Autism Speaks, but also a good opportunity to have more community involvement as well as giving back to the community,” Mrs. Ash, main sponsor of DECA, said.
This is the second year that DECA is participating in charity events to help Autism Speaks. Not only is it a goal to raise funds, but also to spread awareness within the school and surrounding community. With the number of DECA members already over 200 and increasing every year, the club’s influence in the school is also increasing.
“I really enjoyed seeing Klein Oak come together through the past fundraising events,” junior Jacqueline Schiffer said. “It’s nice to see the whole student body participate in an activity that benefits people across the nation.”
For instance, the Dance Benefit Performance, which will be held on December 18th, is a collaboration between the Dance Department and DECA. The performance will also include the participation of ten dance studios in the Houston area who have prepared choreography to be showcased. As community involvement has increased, so has the local reputation of DECA as a highly esteemed organization.
“I feel like DECA has taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I might not have learned until later in life,” junior Taylor Ash said. “I’ve made a lot of connections in and out of school and I’ve also developed a close family bond with the other DECA members.”
One of the main goals of the DECA organization is to teach promising students entrepreneurship skills to benefit them in their future careers. In order to do this, DECA students take various field trips for a more hands on experience. They also participate in competitions, where 15 different countries have representation, in which they present and market different products. The tight bonds that are created between members, however, are largely due to a mutual intelligence and will to help others.
“I really hope that in the future DECA continues to be a club that has a great influence in our community,” Jacqueline Schiffer said.