This year, Pleasanton’s Chamber of Commerce has initiated a partnership with the local high school’s DECA organization,supporting student efforts to gain experience in the business field.
“We hope to partner local business leaders with business-minded youth,” said Roy Cook, Chairman of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation Board and Senior Corporate Recruiter for Robert Half. He noted that the benefits of the partnership include “providing students [with] a mentor that can help guide them towards success after high school in hopes that they will establish a career in Pleasanton. Chamber businesses can also benefit from receiving the youth perspective.”
In May 2012, two Foothill High School seniors, Jared Shohfi and Cameron Vaughan, were invited to present to the Chamber of Commerce’s Community Foundation. Cook stated that, “The board was very impressed with the DECA representatives that were asked to present with less than eight hours notice. This demonstrated their ability to work in the corporate world where professionals are often asked to make a presentation with little to no notice.” These abilities were honed in the seniors’ active involvement in DECA. The seniors presented an overview of what DECA is and how it has changed their high school experience.
DECA, an international student organization, prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in finance, hospitality, marketing, and business management. DECA’s competitive events program is an integral part of the classroom curriculum. DECA’s industry-validated competitive events are aligned with the National Curriculum Standards in the career clusters of market¬ing, business management & administration, finance, and hospitality & tourism. Using time-tested techniques that apply learning, connect to business and promote competition, DECA’s competitive events directly contribute to every student being college and career ready when they graduate from high school.
“DECA is not just an ordinary organization or club, it’s a group of more than two hundred thousand passionate and success-driven students that have continued to surpass many achievements and set the bar higher every year,” said Sahil Wadhwa, Foothill DECA President. “My experience in DECA has been that of self-growth and realization of not just what profession, but also what I aspire to be in my future.”
The Chamber of Commerce’s partnership with DECA creates avenues to expand DECA’s invaluable opportunities to more students, hone leadership qualities, and lastly, promote students to take the initiative to get involved in the community.
Article written by Ayesha Zarah Omarali of the Foothill DECA Chapter