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

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

#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

Welcome Back to Arizona DECA!

Members, Advisors, Alumni, and Professionals,

On behalf of the Arizona DECA State Officer Team, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your patience over these past few months. The past school year did not end as many of us had anticipated. However, all of you kept your head above water and made the most of these unprecedented circumstances.

As we continue to navigate through the current environment, we have decided that the upcoming year of Arizona DECA will be held virtually. In-person events and travel continue to pose challenges and are still not as safe as we all would like. We have been closely observing how other organizations and companies, both large and small, are operating in this new normal. Some of them are not only remaining successful, but are even thriving. We feel confident that this remote year will allow us bigger and even more meaningful opportunities that we did not have access to before.

As this new DECA year approaches, let’s all stay focused on what’s ahead. There is no limit to your potential and the new skills you can learn. There will undoubtedly be some hurdles and challenges ahead, but we can overcome these together. Let’s use this moment in time to take advantage of different ways to learn, grow, and adapt to the new world around us.

We would also love to hear from each of you about any ideas you may have to transition into a virtual beginning of this year. This is going to be a team effort but we are excited about where it can take us! We remain One Diamond, One Family.

Yours in DECA,

Aakash Kakkar | Arizona DECA State President