DECA Fall Leadership Conference

DECA students take on Fall Leadership Conference
Posted on 11/02/2018
DECA students at Fall Leadership Conference

Article submitted by Katie Hickle, SKHS student 

Fall Leadership Conference is the highlight of every DECA student’s October. Every year, this high-class event takes place in Bellevue’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. Students from around the state gather to make new connections, help out their communities, and most importantly, to prepare for their futures as leaders. This year, South Kitsap brought about twenty students to the event. Each student had the opportunity to take part in eight business-based sessions of their choice, while also participating in a conference-wide community service event, as well as opening and closing sessions hosting highly influential speakers. 

At the community service event, students were able to submit their food donations to the Emergency Feeding Program. This incredible program depends on donations to create diet-specific bags of food to deliver to those in need and prevent them from going hungry. South Kitsap was very supportive of the cause, and after two months of gathering donations, we were able to donate 1,227 cans! No other school came close to SK’s level of commitment to helping others. At closing ceremony, South Kitsap was recognized for their achievement and awarded with a pizza party, and the Emergency Feeding Program was extremely grateful for the immense support. During community service night, students also participated in activities such as decorating bags for the EFP to deliver meals and wrapping clothing donations for families to receive on Christmas. Overall, the community service night was very impactful and the accomplishments from the night will benefit those who need it thanks to the Emergency Feeding Program. 

The next day, every school gathered in the Regency’s auditorium to officially open the conference. Students had the chance to donate spare change the EFP and also listen to influential speakers. John Vlastelica, for example, is the CEO of a well-known recruiting company. He spoke to students about his journey through both DECA and the corporate world and the dedication it took for him to become the CEO of his dream company. Kizzy Willey-Ricedorff of “Get Up 10” also spoke at the event. Her inspiring story left listeners ready to overcome any challenge life threw their way. Students were also introduced to the state officers and learned more about the EFP’s mission at this event. The students then attended their choice of engaging workshops throughout the day until it was time to reconvene for the evening general session. The DECA leaders did not disappoint with their choice in speakers, bringing in Salt & Straw CEO Tyler Malek and former national DECA president Chris McCoy. Both speakers mentioned the importance of DECA on their careers, and inspired students to work hard to achieve their goals.

Overall, FLC was an incredible experience for every student that attended. South Kitsap High School left a huge impact to help those in need and came away with the skills to be influential business leaders one day. Now the countdown begins for next year’s event!