Special to Harker News from Shania Wang, grade 10, Harker DECA director of communications.
Harker DECA celebrated November (National DECA Month) this year with several chapter events. Along with hosting numerous activities, Harker DECA also completed the #DECAMonth Social Media Challenge by posting daily on all handles, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
MDA Muscle Walk
On Oct. 23, the Harker DECA officer team attended the MDA Muscle Walk in Los Gatos to support and raise awareness for muscular dystrophy. The officers all enjoyed walking together for a good cause and listening to the speakers share their inspirational stories.
Ice Cream Social
To kick off DECA Month, Harker DECA hosted an ice cream social after school in early November, outside Manzanita Hall. The officer team handed out free ice cream and toppings for dozens of students to enjoy. This event successfully brought the Harker community together while also exciting members for the upcoming DECA season.
Harker DECA held a mock conference in early November. This event offered all members the opportunity to practice their event presentations and improve their competitive excellence. Because none of the first-year members had experienced a conference, the mock conference simulated the real-life competitive environment. All attendees competed in tests and role-play events, while also working on and receiving guidance for their written plans.
Kits for Kids
On Nov. 9, Harker DECA partnered with Harker’s Red Cross Club to assemble Care Kits, an annual tradition. These kits were filled with Band-Aids, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrush, granola bars and stuffed animals. Many members from both clubs helped out to pack 66 total bags, which will be passed on to the Safe Kids Committee of Silicon Valley Red Cross to hand out while teaching children about safety.
Middle School Announcement
Three Harker DECA officers visited the Harker middle school campus to promote the Idea Challenge. Aside from encouraging the middle schoolers to participate in the Idea Challenge, they also answered any questions that students had. Many students already interested in the Idea Challenge found their visit to be helpful in their brainstorming process. This visit was also to encourage students to consider joining DECA when in high school.
Hustle for Muscle
DECA’s most popular event during the month was Hustle for Muscle, a student vs. faculty soccer game. Held during lunch on Nov. 17, a large majority of the school community, including many DECA members (82 percent of the chapter) and even more students not involved in DECA, gathered on the field to cheer on their fellow classmates and teachers. This event was meant to raise awareness and funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). In order to earn proceeds for the MDA, the officer team decided to sell milk tea from Fantasia to eager attendees, with great success. We also invited a representative from the local MDA office, Elyse Anderson, to attend the event. Anderson set up a booth for students to learn more about MDA’s mission and how to become more involved.
During halftime, DECA member Chris Hailey, grade 12, performed his original rap and dance, which brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm to attendees. “I always like to bring the community together with my performances, and I wanted to have little fun,” Hailey said. “I really like how Hustle for Muscle brought the community together.”
The soccer match itself was lots of fun for everyone. “It’s fun to support school activities, and I like soccer,” said Evan Barth, academic dean, who played in the game. “It’s a good opportunity get some exercise, run around and have fun.” The faculty ended up victorious with a final score of 5 to 1.
Hustle for Muscle not only provided Harker with a fun community event before Thanksgiving break but also raised money for a great organization while inspiring students to become more involved in nonprofit organizations in general.
“This event and events like this really help to spread awareness that MDA exists, who MDA is and what we do,” Anderson said. “It also helps fundraise for our MDA Summer Camp, which sends over 80 kids to summer camp, so events like this really help make a huge difference.” Through the milk tea sales, the Harker chapter successfully raised over $500 to support the MDA.
“The MDA stands for so much,” said DECA member Bryan Wang, grade 9. “People already love going out to sports, so once you put sports together with an amazing cause, you get a lot of awareness, which is ultimately what we’re aiming for.”
In mid-November, Harker DECA hosted a movie night at the local AMC theater. In the evening, the chapter watched the recently-released “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” with all proceeds going to the MDA.
To show appreciation for the support from faculty, Harker DECA individually thanked staff members by handing out DECAgrams. Each teacher received a “thank you” mug containing a succulent and personalized note. The note not only thanked teachers for their unending support but also explained what DECA is and encouraged them to chaperone.
A new recognition program for Harker DECA, DECA Shine is meant to honor and recognize members that the officer team deems as outstanding and exceptional. After each DECA event, the officers come together to nominate and select one member who has truly shown what it means to be #DECAEpic. This chosen member then receives a limited-edition DECA Shine T-Shirt and is featured in a video.
As the DECA competitive season approaches, Harker DECA continues to prepare at the remaining study sessions and looks forward to having a great year!
About The Harker School DECA
Harker DECA is an international competitive business organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in four fields of business: marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Our DECA chapter integrates classroom instruction, applies learning, connects to business and promotes competition in order to prepare the next generation to be academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible and experienced leaders.