July 18, 2017

2017 DECA Emerging Leader Summit: Recapping an Unforgettable Experience

Author: California DECA

Your California DECA state officers attended DECA’s Emerging Leadership Summit from July 9-11 in Washington D.C. Here, the team learned to host workshops, tell their stories, and be an effective leader who serves others. Additionally, they rode the metro to the DECA Inc. HQ and advocated at the Capitol, all while bonding with officers from around the country.

Here are some of their favorite parts of ELS:


“I loved the practical focus on the how-to’s of expert workshop facilitation – learning how to effectively teach any sort of skills, whether it be competition or leadership development-focused” – Jasmine Tong-Seely
“I learned that to be a leader isn’t to be comfortable, but to constantly challenge yourself to do more and be more, and to serve the people around you” – Christopher Kusumonegoro

The team learned the seven steps to effectively host workshops:

  1. Know Myself
  2. Know My Content
  3. Know My Audience
  4. Know My Flow
  5. Know My Tools
  6. Know My Barriers
  7. Know My Differences

Additionally, Dustin Chiang, former California DECA State President, came in to talk about college and internships. As a current intern for Senator Feinstein in D.C. and current student at Harvard, Dustin has found the perfect way to give back to DECA and leverage his experiences to like-minded rising leaders.
Night Tour:

“The D.C. area boasts some of the most impressive and important monuments, and we had the opportunity to see them in the ELS night tour” – David Xu

Team 67 toured The National Archives and saw the original Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. They took pictures at the Lincoln Memorial and rolled down grassy hills at the Washington Monument to admire the height of the structure. They also saw the American flag rise as the bus slowly circled around the Iwo Jima Memorial and swayed to jazz music outside the Capitol.

“DECA offers the most amazing platform for networking, and it’s incredible to now have friends all over the country and in Canada too!” – Cindy Guo
“The most memorable part of the ELS journey was being able to share stories with other associations and understand the struggles and journeys everyone went through to get there” – Dragon Chan

The state officers connected with other association officers from Ontario, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and more. Not only did they bond over how each of them came into office, but they also exchanged contact information in order to stay connected in future months.
Advocacy in the Capitol:

“We Californians are so fortunate to have representatives who support education and DECA. Being able to stand in the most symbolic building in America and take part in producing lasting, tangible change is certainly an experience I will not forget” – Ashton Lam

Team 67 advocated for Career and Technical Education (CTE) and the Carl D. Perkins Act, which provides funding for CTE, at the capitol in the offices of Reps. Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, Eric Swalwell, and Scott Peters. Previously, they advocated in Sacramento, but advocating at the capitol building was an entirely different experience.
Your state officers have gained new friendships and have matured their voices to advocate for DECA and CTE. They’ve witnessed unforgettable scenery in the city where history comes back to life. But most importantly, they gained so much knowledge and are looking forward to sharing it with you all at the next DECA conference!

About California DECA
California DECA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Career and Technical Student Organization, endorsed by the California Department of Education. With over 4,500 members in 59 schools throughout California, California DECA works to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in four fields of business: marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. For more information about California DECA, visit


Contact Information
To learn more about this story, please contact:
California DECA