The Vice President of Northern California, Yash Desai, shares what DECA means to him.
Leadership. Public speaking. Entrepreneurship. These are all things that have resonated with me throughout my high school education. I loved to speak in front of crowds, and I was always excited to lead a group. One of the biggest hurdles that came in the way of me doing these things, however, was the lack of opportunities to put my skills to the test. I first gained exposure to DECA in the eighth grade when I attended my future high school’s open house. Despite the fact that it was in its pilot year at American High School, I immediately gravitated towards it because it provided an opportunity for me to go out and practice what I so badly wanted to do.
To me, DECA is not just any club; it is what shaped me into the person I am today.
When I first joined during my freshman year, despite my passion for public speaking, I still had a lot of work to do. I was also not very sociable and preferred the company of familiar faces, as opposed to reaching out and meeting new people. DECA changed that. I not only became a more fluent and confident speaker, but I also managed to build relationships with many new people, and create friendships that will outlive high school. I expanded my network and my knowledge of business, finance, and marketing.
In retrospect, I feel that the amount of things DECA has done for me is what sparked such a strong love for it. From being a competitor, to a marketing instructor for my chapter, and now a state officer, DECA has become such a large part of me that I tie almost all of my most rewarding experiences and achievements to it. My passion for DECA means I have a passion for leading; a passion for learning; a passion for achieving success.
It is said that a passion for something is what brings about true success, and I can confirm that with my DECA story. I now have the confidence to be the best I possibly can, and that is all thanks to my experiences with DECA.