DECA makes a difference through community service


Keyana Hatamzadeh (12) and Lindsey Twelvetrees (12) volunteer at the Quince Nursing Home.

Most students know about the DECA Student-Teacher Basketball Game and their trip to New York in the fall, but what most don’t know is that White Station DECA is very involved in community service and fundraising, as well as training students in business and leadership skills.

DECA, the Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a non-profit organization that teaches students marketing and business concepts to prepare them for careers in business, finance, hospitality and management.

“Students compete against other schools, first in the district, then the students who qualify can compete at the State and National competitions,” Marketing teacher Andrew  Bell said.“Events range from extemporaneous roleplay events to chapter events that involves writing a manual for businesses in the community.”

Members in DECA also compete in the Community Service Project.  

“The core of these projects was supporting food pantries, donating canned foods, volunteering at the local food pantry and community centers, raising awareness of these ongoing issues and working with and supporting these populations,” Marketing teacher Elaine Skoog said.

Each year, every DECA chapter must choose a different cause. Their causes have ranged from working to end child poverty with the RED NOSE Day campaign to teen food insecurities. This year, seniors Lindsey Twelvetrees (12) and Keyana Hatamzadeh (12) were assigned to aid low-income senior citizens.

Every year, a group has [the community service] category and focuses on a certain issue in the community. This year, we focused on senior citizens in poverty. We held a food drive for a food pantry at a local police station,” Twelvetrees said.  

In addition to volunteering, DECA holds fundraisers for their community service projects. They do this by selling tickets to events such as the Student-Teacher basketball game, selling t-shirts or candy and collecting donations. This year, $2,122 was raised from the game to donate to MIFA, the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, in support of their Meals on Wheels program for homebound elderly.

“DECA fundraises to both bring awareness and make a difference in a cause that the chapter believes in,” Hatamzadeh said.