DECA Partnerships Propel Us To The #NEXTLEVEL

Arizona DECA has taken part in some great partnerships over the years. From in-kind donations to branded scholarships, our partners have impacted the lives of countless students.

Whataburger is an excellent example of a partner with a standout conference presence. For years, Whataburger has provided lanyards, hosted a booth, and contributed to DECA scholarships at the Arizona DECA State Career Development Conference.

DECA provides over $200,000 in scholarships to our members each year. Additionally, Arizona DECA offers $10,000 in scholarships and looks to expand on scholarships available to our students. Recently we have asked ourselves, “How can Arizona DECA’s current partnership program be taken to the #NEXTLEVEL?” Our answer is rooted in three ideas, opening dialogue, rewarding partners, and creating opportunities.

This year Arizona DECA is working to renew our partnership program. Engaging communication is crucial to member success. With new ways for members to communicate with Arizona DECA’s team and partners, we hope to bring clarity to our members about what they can gain through Arizona DECA this year. By using new platforms of communication, we plan to connect our partners and members directly. Allowing our members to learn more about what could be in their future. Open communication with partners will only serve to propel the success of Arizona DECA’s members and create more #NEXTLEVEL DECA experiences.

Next, the new vision will allow for a larger member-impact and the creation of firm, long-lasting partnerships for years to come. By creating new ways to work with partners, we intend to reward partners for their contributions toward our mission and use new tools to turn partnerships into something more.

We understand DECA members seek opportunities to develop themselves personally, professionally, and academically. This year, we will to continue to offer, expand, and update development opportunities to meet the needs of our members and address current health and safety concerns. Expanded development opportunities can be in the form of an enhanced scholarship program for members, developing new ways for members to reach their goals and full potential, or more diversified professional development and career opportunities. With this, our impact will grow, and our partnerships will strengthen.

Remember, Arizona DECA and our partners are here for you! DECA leaders are our future, and the future shines bright like a diamond, a DECA Diamond. 

Yours in DECA,

Svend Delasko | District 7 President

DECA Scholarships and Beyond!

The beginning of the year can be stressful for students, especially seniors. On top of classes, many seniors have to worry about leading clubs and organizations (like DECA), applying for colleges, and managing their social lives. The recent developments this year have only served to make senior year even more stressful.

Upon applying for colleges, many seniors are also under immense pressure to apply for as many scholarships as possible to lower the cost of a college education. Luckily, DECA offers over $200,000 in scholarships every year, and an easy way to apply for them! In order to apply, follow this link (https://www.deca.org/high-school-programs/scholarships/) and click ‘Apply Now’ and set up your account, or sign into the account you have used to sign in previously. You will need your DECA Member ID to create an account, which you can get from your advisor!

In addition to DECA Scholarships, there are many other scholarships seniors can apply for. One website, Scholarships.com, has a college scholarship search and directory which you can use to find scholarships to apply for that suit you! Many other websites, such as FastWeb, CollegeNet and even CollegeBoard also have search functions and application links for scholarships collected in one place. Don’t forget to use your school counselor as a resource to find out about local scholarships as well!

The scholarships available take many different forms, from merit scholarships in your prospective field, essay scholarships about your personal experience, or even completely silly scholarships for doing silly things. For instance, one of the students at Mountain Ridge a few years ago won a $1,000 scholarship for posting a picture of themselves with a milk mustache! The options for scholarships are essentially only as limited as your imagination.

As of the publication of this article, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA has been open for about a week! Even if you don’t think you qualify for Federal Aid, chances are you do and just don’t know it! Additionally, many colleges use this information to determine their own financial aid. A 2018 NerdWallet study found that students missed out on $2.6 billion in free federal Pell grants by not completing the FAFSA. Claim your part of that $2.6 billion today by completing the FAFSA!

Good luck to everyone applying for scholarships this year. DECA members are talented and capable individuals, so we are confident that a lot of you will get the scholarships you want!

Yours in DECA,

Liam Nelson | District 1 President

A Special Message from Our DECA Inc. WRVP, Mattie Bradford

Hello Arizona DECA!

I have missed each of you dearly and hope you have been doing well! I am so grateful to serve as your Western Region Vice President and have the opportunity to work alongside you throughout this year. It’s going to be a good (and crazy) one!

When facing uncertainty, stress, and perhaps even a lack of excitement, it is more important than ever to stay grounded and rooted in what you do know for sure. For me, what’s kept me grounded is knowing I am part of an organization that won’t give up on its members and who will do everything in their power to still provide us experiences and opportunities, even during times like this. It is knowing I have a family of not only the 6,000 plus members in Arizona DECA alone, but of the 225,000 members in DECA as a whole. That’s one big family.
Speaking of family, your Executive Officer Team has been working hard to create the tools and resources that will help you to be incredibly successful this year. A couple of exciting things to tune into that are already happening now:

Monthly One DECA Calls: Each month, we host a Zoom call that is open for every single member of DECA to join. It’s a really fun time to connect with your network of fellow DECA members from all over the world and leave with new insight and ideas on how to lead your chapter and association. I hope to see even more Arizona DECA representation on the next one!

UPCOMING CALLS: Wednesday, October 21st – 5pm PT

Monthly Western Region Calls: We don’t just call ourselves the “Bestern Region” for no reason… This is truly a region with the most incredible and devoted members in the organization. We are a region of innovative ideas, meaningful connections, and service-oriented leaders who are all becoming more unified as the year progresses. This call is a unique opportunity for the chapter and association officers of all 14 associations of the Western Region to collaborate, share ideas, and develop a stronger, more unified region.

UPCOMING CALLS: Tuesday, October 27th – 5pm PT

DECA Direct: Similar to the cool blog site you are on right now, DECA Inc. has their very own blog with weekly articles you can subscribe to, the latest updates and announcements available, and all things DECA! I would highly recommend staying up to date with this, it can be a really informative tool and also just a fun read. Check it out at https://www.decadirect.org!

Another important piece of information:

Registration for Western Region Leadership Conference 2020 opened September 28th, 2020. This is an event you will absolutely not want to miss out on. Hosted virtually by Washington DECA, this experience is packed full of engaging activities, interactive workshops, and lots of innovative leaders. Take a look at the conference website at https://decawrlc2020.org and talk to your advisor about getting registered today!

To stay updated with everything DECA, make sure you are following along with @decainc and my account, @decawrvp on all platforms. Please reach out if you ever have any questions or just want to chat – that’s what I’m here for!

Yours in DECA,

Mattie Bradford
DECA Inc. High School Division Western Region Vice President

Introducing the new Arizona DECA Slack

Hello Arizona DECA!

The challenges that stem from these unprecedented times require us to come up with innovative solutions to deliver robust and collaborative programming and experience for you, our members. Therefore, the State Officer Team is thrilled to announce the Arizona DECA Slack platform for the 2020-2021 school year!

Slack is a communication platform that is designed to organize and facilitate collaboration. For reference, it is comparable to Discord, in which a server is comprised of different channels that pertain to unique categories of information and discussions. Through a number of different channels like Resources, News and Updates, our goal is to establish the Arizona DECA workspace as a central hub for all chapter officers to access relevant content, brainstorm ideas, and network with fellow officers from across the state. The possibilities are truly limitless with Slack, as it integrates with a multitude of third-party services, including Google Calendar and Zoom, for a more comprehensive experience.

As mentioned, the Arizona DECA Slack will be available to all chapter officers. Within the next couple of weeks, you will be sent an email inviting you to join the platform. As dates and details are finalized, additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.

Ultimately, the success of the Slack platform will be entirely dependent on everyone remaining consistently proactive and engaged. The Arizona DECA State Officer Team will share the tools and resources you can utilize to guide your chapter to the #NEXTLEVEL. However, that is not the only goal we have in mind for the Arizona DECA Slack. We also want to take advantage of the opportunity to forge connections that transcend the computer screen. A productive conversation is not just one person speaking to an audience, but rather involves a group of people contributing equally.

With that said, I challenge you to take part in our discussions, begin new discussions, and follow up after the discussions have concluded. By the end of the year, your network will grow exponentially and Arizona DECA will be more united than ever before. One Diamond, One Family!

Yours in DECA,

Thong Vo | District 2 President

Get Dialed Into The Arizona One DECA Call Series

Hello Arizona DECA!

We are very excited to announce the 2020-2021 State Officer Team is releasing our new Arizona One DECA Call series! Each month we will meet virtually to collaborate and share our ideas with each other like never before.

On Thursday, September 24th at 4:00 p.m, we will be hosting our very first Arizona One DECA Call. This call is open to members, officers, and advisors all across the state. We are excited to ignite this exciting new program with an agenda filled with a great deal of information and networking opportunities.

The 2020-2021 state officer team has missed you so much and we are excited to kick off the school year and connect with you all. We have been working tirelessly over the past six months on new projects and opportunities for you and your chapter to take advantage of during these unprecedented times. Our main objective for the first Arizona One DECA Call is to clarify any unanswered questions you may have and to explain some of the exciting programs we have been and will be releasing.

We will be talking about MDA, Arizona DECA Slack channels, Blog DECA, and more! Beyond this, you will have many opportunities during this call to network with one another like never before and an opportunity to network with your fellow state officers as well. We will be utilizing breakout sessions and other Zoom features to make this meeting the best one yet!

Come prepared and ready to network with fellow members, officers, and advisors from all across the state. We hope to see you there!

With warm regards in DECA,

Emily Anasagasti
District 5 President

Announcing District Instagrams

Hey Arizona DECA!

The Arizona DECA State Officer Team is so excited to officially announce Arizona DECA District Instagrams! After months of preparation and planning, we are excited to offer a platform to all of Arizona DECA’s nine districts. District Instagrams will be dedicated to informing, connecting, and sharing information to all members of Arizona DECA!

Informing the Arizona DECA members about upcoming conferences, events, and other information is a top priority for the Arizona DECA State Officer Team. The launch of District Instagrams will enable a space for members to reach out and ask any questions they may have, and to most importantly connect with other members of Arizona DECA. While this space offers a chance for members to connect, it also gives the ability to create lasting relationships among fellow members and with your corresponding Arizona DECA District President!

District Instagrams are designed to promote upcoming statewide events, as well as share district-specific events such as fundraisers, competitions, and recognizing chapter successes!

We hope every member of Arizona DECA is able to create better connections, have quicker access to information, and learn even more about Arizona DECA with District Instagrams! Arizona DECA District Instagrams launch on September 7th.

Yours in DECA,

Izzy Yadav | Arizona DECA State Secretary and District 6 President

Get Ready for VOLT 2020

Arizona DECA is extremely excited to offer a new and innovative form of training for chapter officers and advisors around the state: Virtual Officer Leadership Training! Or as we call it: VOLT! Although we will miss having Camp DECA and getting to see all your beautiful faces in person, we are optimistic that through access to hundreds of hours of world-class leadership training, you won’t be disappointed as a leader! This program is different than anything Arizona DECA has offered before in that it extends over the entire month of October with recurring live sessions delivered by professional trainers and of course, your #Team60!

The State Officer Team is incredibly excited to partner with TEAMTRI to roll out this opportunity for our chapter officers to learn how to excel in their positions. This 4-week interval program will allow officers to gain a complex knowledge of all things DECA and so much more! You will easily see how the skills you learn during VOLT can be applied to your future life as a college student and professional. VOLT also provides a one-of-a-kind networking opportunity for chapter officers to meet and connect with their like-minded peers. We can’t wait to see all of the lasting friendships that will form during this high-intensity and interactive experience! Team 60 and TEAMTRI are ready to bring the heat! We guarantee that each week, you will leave the live sessions with a volt of energy to keep you going.

But that’s not all. The VOLT experience will offer more than just content, connections, and conference craziness! This training will help equip you to be successful in a new but extremely important modern skill: virtual professionalism. I know that remote learning can certainly seem like an obstacle, but if there is any group of students that I would trust to rise up to new challenges and excel in networking and personal development, it would be DECA kiddos! I can’t wait to see you all there!

More details will be released to chapter advisors in the coming weeks.

Yours in DECA,

Brinlee Kidd | Arizona DECA District 8 President

Take Your Chapter to the #NEXTLEVEL!

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Members, Advisors, Alumni, and Professionals,

Inspiration to move forward can come from many different places. Most recently for me, my inspiration has come from speaking with the many members, advisors, and our lively, tremendous, marvelous, jovial, energetic, intellectual, stellar, brilliant, and ambitious State Officer Team as we’ve returned for the 2020-2021 school year. In an environment where many are inclined to choose pessimism, negativity, and hopelessness, our Arizona DECA members and advisors have demonstrated a remarkable level of optimism, positivity, and hope.

Over the past six months, I’ve witnessed paradigms shift from despair in the face of restrictions to optimism for the opportunities the future brings. I’ve seen chapter members and leaders get excited about their plans for the new school year. I’ve seen advisors collaborate in ways they never have before, share ideas to help each other, and find new and innovative resources to set the stage for chapter excellence. Most humbling to me, I’ve watched your State Officer Team evolve from a varied assortment of individual shining stars to an assembled supernova of passion, dedication, and achievement to bring you a Program of Leadership that will take your chapter further than ever!

During all of the virtual events leading up to the start of the school year, including State Officer and chapter advisor training, the Emerging Leader Summit, the Business and Marketing Conference, the Chartered Association Management Conference, and more, your Arizona DECA State Staff has listened to YOU, our stakeholders. Under the framework of DECA’s Comprehensive Learning Program and Competitive Events Program, we have worked closely with our State Officer Team and developed programs that aim to address your needs while respecting the current health and social climates. In the weeks to come, you’ll hear more about the resources and offerings from both DECA Inc. and Arizona DECA. That said, we would love to hear from you about what we can do to improve what we do for you. We are One Diamond, One Family. We rise together! Members, reach out to your chapter leaders. Chapter leaders, communicate with your advisors and State Officer Team. And advisors, please reach out to your State Staff to let us know what we’re doing right and what we can improve.

Thank you all for what you do each and every day to move our organization forward and take us all to the #NEXTLEVEL!

Yours in DECA,

Francisco Ortiz y Davis | Arizona DECA Executive Director and State Advisor

Make Your Move

Hello Arizona DECA!

We are so excited to share that one of our goals for this year is to continue expanding our partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association! The MDA has been helping families and individuals living with muscular dystrophy and other related neuromuscular diseases for the past 70 years. Throughout these years, they have worked hard to bring awareness, support, and funding in order to find a cure. This September, Arizona DECA will be joining in on the MDA National Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month by helping raise awareness and donations for those in need.

On Saturday, September 5th, we will be participating in the MDA Virtual Muscle Walk 2020. This walk is a great way for chapters and members to learn more about the MDA while giving to an amazing cause. Since the walk is virtual, we encourage you to get active. Whether that means going out for a walk, doing yoga, hiking, or even dancing, the possibilities are endless!

If you would like to sign up for the Virtual Muscle Walk 2020, go to decalink.org/walk20, click “Register”, and register as part of the Arizona DECA team.

If you just want to make a donation, go to the Arizona DECA team link at decalink.org/mda20. Make sure to put your chapter name in the comments when making a donation. We will be giving a gift card to each of the top five chapters who raise the most. Remember that the chapter who raises the most money for the MDA overall throughout the entire year will receive special recognition at the State Career Development Conference.

We will be posting all about the MDA every Saturday in September on our Instagram @arizonadeca. We encourage you to utilize your social media accounts to spread this message far and wide. We are ecstatic to see how Arizona DECA will take our partnership with the MDA to the #NEXTLEVEL!

Yours in DECA,

Jacque Quesada | District 4 President

#StayInDECA

Hi Arizona DECA!

I hope everyone has had a safe and enjoyable transition back to school. Personally, attending classes in my pajamas is motivating me the most right right now. With the past few months and uncertain number of future months spent social distancing, it’s hard finding something worth getting out of bed for. Classes feel different, especially when you can’t turn around and make an inside joke with a friend. Life feels different, because our routines and activities are no longer integral parts of our day. However, there’s one thing that gratefully hasn’t changed for me: DECA. The people, the purpose, and the energy. DECA has magic to it. The magic to feel important, essential, significant. The magic to express yourself creatively and passionately. The magic to forge connections and bonds that will last way longer than this pandemic. DECA opens avenues and channels for you to grow as an emerging leader in any way that best suits your own special self. Though restricted physically, this State Officer Team’s imagination for this upcoming year is literally limitless with all our plans for our members. And yours can be too.

If you’re reading this, there’s about a 79% probability (sorry my statistics class is rubbing off on me) that you’re already interested in being in DECA this year. However, there’s a lot more we can all do to be active members and replicate the feeling of an in-person experience. Everyone in DECA is a leader. You may be your chapter’s president, a chapter officer, or a chapter member. If you’re none of the above, this your SIGN to join your DECA chapter. A leader isn’t defined by a position or a title, but rather by a mindset. A mindset of personal growth that spreads and empowers others. You are 100% capable of being a leader in every area of your life – you just have to leave your comfort zone so that you can enter your growth zone. There’s really only one thing I hope you take away from this: challenge yourself. Challenge yourself to become the best leader you can be right now and make the most of what you can. Challenge yourself to be a committed and dedicated member of Arizona DECA. Challenge yourself to help others on their leadership journey by growing your chapter to more and more people that need some DECA energy in their lives right now. Challenge yourself to transcend the obstacles set forth by these circumstances and evolve into the best version of yourself.

DECA challenges me in every single way possible. Mostly, it challenges me to push myself past the limits I set for myself. If I didn’t stay in DECA three years ago, I would be nowhere even close to where I am now. I am so grateful to myself for choosing to stay in DECA, and I hope one day you’ll feel the same way toward yourself.

Yours in DECA,

Manvi Harde | Arizona DECA State Vice President