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Emerging Leaders Summit was an amazing experience. With the pandemic happening, I didn’t know if my team would be able to attend but lucky that didn’t stop the ambitious national DECA officers from hosting a wonderful event. Ever since last year
as a state officer, I wanted to go to ELS as soon as I heard it. Oklahoma DECA didn’t have the greatest national presence in the past years. But this year I definitely wanted to change that because DECA should be a big happy family which includes meeting the other DECA officers. Going into ELS, I was definitely nervous because I had no idea what to expect or how to prepare my team for the next couple of days with the other
state officers. Lucky the first day, all my nervousness went away when I started to actually experience ELS.

During the conference, I got to network with a lot of the other state officers from other
states. Learning not only about the individual but learning about what they do in their
state DECA. We occasionally have dance parties during breaks and between sessions.
We got to listen to amazing workshops that are teaching us not only how to adjust to
this year but to become better leaders for our team. We were blessed with the
opportunity to expand our leadership potential and to grow to even stronger leaders
than we already are. Overall we were just learning to be DECAmazing officers while
gaining a support group of other DECAmazing officers which was really helpful
because of the obstacles we are all facing with covid.

Of course I would have liked ELS in person, however this was one of the best virtual
conferences I have attended yet! From my teammate Grace winning one of the Kahoot
games to getting lots of compliments on my background choices. I just enjoy meeting
people and being surrounded by DECA officers who have the same passion as I do. This
not only makes me very excited for the year but it makes me very determined to get
things accomplished and to take things to the NEXT LEVEL!


-LaBraia Owens

Oklahoma DECA Council 78 President