Would it surprise you to hear that four years ago I was painfully shy, so shy that in the entirety of a ten-minute roleplay I couldn’t look my judge in the eyes once?
That was me. Really.
In my time in DECA, I’ve recounted my DECA Story more times than I can remember. Regardless, one thing that had always stuck out to me was where I started from and the truly unfathomable progress that DECA has brought me professionally, personally, and as a leader.
Back to my freshman year.
My palms were sweaty as I contemplated my daring escape route. It was between using the escalator handrails to propel me through the upstairs window or walking outside when suddenly I heard my time slot being called. I quickly pulled on my blazer and dashed to the waiting area, adrenaline driving me forwards.
When I put on that navy blue blazer, I became someone else. I became personable, creative, and most of all filled with the ability to share my enthusiasm and passion for business. The magical blue blazer was no more than a piece of fabric, yet it amplified my appetite for success tenfold.
Winning a ticket to Orlando I had to talk to even more people, except this time I was finally eager to do so.
Meeting people from all over the world was not an exaggeration, I own a beret from Spain DECA, a Niagara Falls postcard, and a myriad of pins and trinkets from various locales. I no longer trembled with fear but with excitement at what I may discover next.
DECA has taken me out of my comfort zone more times than I can count and I am so grateful that it has. My decision to join DECA deepened my love for advocacy and the opportunities this organization has brought me have allowed me to explore new career paths and my future!
Connection through DECA spurred me to run for State office, and I have loved every moment of it. Although this is my final year as a DECA member, my DECA Story has not come to an end. The lasting impact of my DECA career permeates all aspects of my life, from my ambition to the people I keep close around me, launching me to new heights and forever maximizing my momentum in all things I do!