I have been part of SkillsUSA Oregon for several years. In the past, our school had entered students to compete in welding and automotive. This year I became to lead advisor and the students have developed an actual chapter that had never been here. Elections, leadership, and interest have been restored to our school Careeer and Technical Student Organization are an important part of high school student's education. SkillsUSA is a Student Leadership Organization that attracts those that want to develop skills in leadership and technical education. Tomorrows leaders are in SkillsUSA today.
Walking into my freshman year I knew I needed to find my niche in High School to make my experience a positive one, and during that first year I wasn't very comfortable where I was in that new school. But everyone kept talking about DECA, and how fun it was and I'd see pictures on Facebook of everyone in their very professional looking clothes and it really intrigued me. So in the fall I signed up for a Marketing class and became a DECA member! I had no idea what to expect but this turned out to be the best decision I've ever made. I can't imagine what my sophomore year would be like if I hadn't joined DECA. Being a first year member I signed up to compete in a Principles individual role play and my advisor asked me and a friend of mine to do a team role play where we decided to do Sports and Entertainment. In the months leading up to SCDC I learned about marketing, selling, promoting and practiced for hours on Marketing exams and role plays to increase that very small chance we had at making in up on stage and qualifying for ICDC in Anaheim. State was an incredible experience for myself, my partner, and entire chapter. By the end of that week, my partner and I and my 3 roommates were looking up photos of the Disneyland Hotel where we would be staying in 2 months to compete at Internationals. In the 10 short months I've been a DECA member I've met hundreds of other kids, increased my confidence level and business skills, and made memories that I will be telling stories about for the rest of my life. I'm also proud to say I am serving as Vice President of my chapter next year. I look forward to making the experiences of our new members, which will almost double the size of our current chapter, as incredible as mine was and to do that we need the continued support of our state.
As I walked through the doors on my first day of high school I had two main goals; finish high school, and make as large of an impact as I can.
As I started out to achieve these goals I had no idea as to how I would actually do them, or even what I specifically had to do to count the goals as successful. All I knew at that point was I had to try. During my freshman year I found a love in the area of accounting and finance. The classes I took on the subject made complete sense to me, for the more and more I studied the subject and the future prospect of its involvement in my life after the classes, I being to find out what to do with my life. That discovery however, helped me achieve nothing in respects to my goal of making a large impact during high school.
Near the end of my freshman year I being to hear about an organization throughout our business class called DECA. My teacher, in her efforts to recruiting for next year’s leadership team, began telling me how I should give it a try, sharing its benefits, and claiming how I could take what I learned in accounting and apply it to a number of competitive events. The following year when I attended the first informational meeting, I was immediately hooked. I heard story after story of its benefits from alumni, as well as stories from the upperclassmen about how much fun the state conference would be. I began to notice how with our school, all of the leaders, were also DECA members.
During my first year in DECA I learned so much from speaking skills to all aspects of professionalism. I learned not only what it meant to be a leader within my chapter and school, but also the community. My first year in DECA included so much more however, as my first state conference was unforgettable. I had worked hard in preparing myself for competition, but had absolutely no idea what to expect in the area of overall results. I will never forget sitting at the table with my chapter listening to my event being called when I heard my name being called to the stage. The rest was such a blur as I was in shock. All I can remember was stepping where the state officers instructed me to and taking the hardware handed to me. When I finally returned to my table I had no idea what I had accomplished until my advisor came up to me telling me how I just qualified for International Conference with a 1st place finish in my role play, and a 3rd overall finish in my event of accounting applications.
My first year didn't end there. The next few months were what really made DECA special for me, for it was then that I began to see the scope of my organization. My trip to the International Conference involved fundraising, networking, and connecting with local leaders like I had never imagined. I was able to finally take what I learned in DECA and apply it in a setting where it allowed me to thrive. The International conference in Salt Lake was something special as it allowed me to travel and meet others who shared my passion for business, leadership, and competition. I met some amazing people during that time, and forged relationships that will last a life time. After accomplishing so much during my first year in DECA I knew I had found the place where I could make an impact. I was aware of my accomplishments, but knew how much more I could do and quickly set off in my pursuit of doing so.
My second year in DECA has been the most rewarding year of my life as I have not only bettered myself but my chapter as well. My chapter of 9 state members has the qualifications as follows: completion of National DECA’s Thrive academy requirements, 6 members attending Internationals, 2 1st place trophies, 1 3rd place trophy, 1 1st place medal, 2 2nd place medals, 2 3rd place medals, 1 top 8 medal, and a successful campaign for state president.
That to me that is what DECA is all about, not the ability to do well, but rather how in DECA anyone and any team can set their mind to something and accomplish great things. DECA, through competition, creates winners and allows members to strive to new heights. DECA is truly the only organization where you cannot peak, where there is never an end to what you can accomplish, as it teaches its members how in life there is never a limit or boundary you cannot break in the pursuit to change the world.
DECA has been instrumental in my personal growth throughout high school, and has truly allowed me to transform myself into a young adult ready to enter the competitive and professional world of business. From the lessons it teaches in the classroom with basic knowledge of business, to edict and professionalism, DECA is the complete package. It has the ability to take anyone and transform them into a prepared future leader with all the tools needed to be successful as it did with me. DECA is special in another area too, as it never ends, anyone, anywhere can be involved in the organization from being a member, alumni, judge, advisor, or even a professional member.
I am a senior at Bend Senior High School and I joined DECA last year. What I learned from DECA is that the human dynamics of this organization cannot be taught in a book. DECA teaches members real life skills that will benefit them in future job interviews, working as employees, and managing private business. DECA also allows members to express their creative abilities while gaining the confidence needed to be successful. I joined DECA not knowing what to expect. What I found was that being a member I learned these valuable life skills while having a great experience at the State Career Development Conference. I loved my experience with DECA so much that I am a co-manager of my high schools student store through this next year and will be competing at State again with the high hopes of qualifying for the International Career Development Conference. DECA is a valuable organization with a positive influence on its members' future success.
Ever since I joined DECA, my life has improved so much. I used to be the kid that sits in the back, simply wading through life. DECA has inspired me to stand out, be more social, and try harder in school. My grades, as well as my social life have seen a tremendous increase. Without DECA, I don't know where I would be, but I know I wouldn't want to be there.
Before I joined my school's DECA chapter, I was very introverted and sports were my main focus. After the State Career Development Conference my first year, I knew that I wanted more with the program. I ran for chapter President at my school where I have now been in that leadership position for two years. DECA has changed my life: I've worked with business professionals on written projects, won at the International Career Development Conference, was honored by the North Clackamas School District, made many connections, and gained vast leadership and communication skills. Because of this, DECA has prepared me for my future in a way that no sport or other high school club has.
I am the Chairman of the Oregon FBLA Board of Trustees. I have seen many student's lives changed because of Oregon FBLA. That is why I volunteer my time to help to Oregon FBLA.
In rural areas of the state, it is hard for students to believe they can compete with students from the bigger metro schools. FBLA provides an opportunity for students to realize they are not at a disadvantage when competing against students from across the state and in national competitions, but also in college and in the job market to follow. I have seen students that have shown very little interest in school become very focused and excited about competitions from Business Presentation to Information Systems. This effectively increases the depth of learning and teaches the students skills that they will be able to use in later life, or may change the career path they choose to persue because of their experiences outside of the classroom.
Personally, one of my daughters chose her career path after attending the Institute for Leaders at the National FBLA Conference. This is exactly the type of experience we want our children to have. Something that opens their mind not only to a career path, but to the fact that they can compete with anyone from anywhere.
These organizations build partnerships with businesses that help make the educational experience more "real world." In our community, more than 100 business leaders have worked with the local chapter in everything from Career Fairs, judging events and assisting with projects. Additionally, businesses contribute thousands of dollars every year to assist the local program, as well as, to help students be able to afford to go to state and national conferences. These are exactly the types of partnerships the educational system need to develop if we are going to sucessfully educate students for the twenty-first century.
There are approximately 10,000 students involved in CTSOs in the State of Oregon. When you divide the dollars allocated, or the dollars proposed to be allocated in HB 2985, the cost per student is minimal when compared to the benefits derived from CTSOs. I strongly urge your suppport of HB 2985.
As a long time judge for Oregon DECA and Oregon FBLA, I have experienced first-hand a lot of the wealth that these two student leadership organizations give to our students in Buseiness programs in our high schools. In DECA role plays, I have often watched after students as they left the room following our conversation, wondering how I might be able to hire students like that in my business, or how they might take on roles as leaders in our government. The students were often more engaged, articulate, intelligent, personable, and professional than many adults I work with on a daily basis. The same can be said of the students in FBLA, who show not only high level team-work and technical business knowlege and skills, but deep and far-reaching civic pride and responsibility. The level of their commitment to community service learning projects is unparalled. I hope the legislature can find money in the budget to continue to invest in CTE stu dent leadership organizations like, DECA, FBLA, FFA, SkillsUSA, HOSA, and FCCLA. I also hope they can find enough to help other organizations find their way into school CTE curriculum, organizations like the Future Teachers of America (FTA) and Technical Students of America (TSA). This would allow opportunites for even more of our students learn how to interact with adults, develop personal management skills, develop high level communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills, and find rich reasons for staying in school and doing the best they can as they move along their career pathways.
When I first learned about SkillsUSA, I heard about it at my high school and I knew they held competitions. What I didn't know was that it would change my life and get me prepared for the world of business and competitions. After being involved in the club and competing at the state and national level I knew that this was something I wanted to be involved in, and I wanted to be more than just a competitor. Being my chapters president was a lesson in multiple ways, the most important lessons being patience, organization, confidence, and leadership. I learned how to do paper work and communicate on a more professional level. And one of the most important skills I have acquired is the ability to act on and achieve helping people in any way I am able, which I believe is a big part of SkillsUSA. Things that I only had a slight grasp on just two years ago, are now possible for me and I am able to be a strong and confident leader, and also became a SkillsUSA state officer. This organization has helped me be more involved in school and a career path that I will use and rely on for the rest of my life. What SkillsUSA means to me is all of these things and it was my new beginning to accomplishing something amazing.
When I first started doing volunteering activities I somehow always ended up doing work that was more independent so I did not really have an opportunity to work with other people. In school I also rarely had the opportunity to participate in group activities that flowed well, so I did not know how to completely go about working with others to efficiently accomplish a goal. Even when I participated in sports I worked by myself. I was a figure skater for 8 years and although I made a lot of friends while I skated and while I was in school, I did not really have an opportunity to work on projects and work toward goals with help of a team. This is all until I joined SkillsUSA. From day one coming into the SkillsUSA Law Enforcement program I was put into a situation where I was a part of a team. I met a group of people who genuinely wanted to get things done and work together to achieve goals. I came into a situation where I not only wanted to socialize with these people but we all wanted to work together to achieve goals and it was so nice to see people who wanted to be the best that they can be and help others along the way. This is why SkillsUSA means so much to me.
The number one experience that change my professional trajectory and made me the business leader I am today was joining the Yamhill-Carlton High School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). I joined FBLA as a freshman, was elected chapter vice president as a junior, and for my senior year of high school I served as the FBLA president for the entire state of Oregon. Since graduating from YCHS I have completed a double major at the University of California – Berkeley, received an MBA for Harvard Business School, worked for one of the top business strategy consulting firms in the world (Bain & Company), led economic development projects for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and am now the Chief Marketing Officer at the largest e-commerce site for baby products in Brazil (Baby.com.br). None of these achievements would have been possible if I had not received the leadership and technical training that FBLA provided.
As the Oregon FBLA state president I had the opportunity to lead a team of 12 officers. These officers were fellow high school students who were elected by their peers from across Oregon. With only one full time adult employee, we, the students, were responsible for organizing three different conferences throughout the year. We were also responsible for creating programs and initiatives to improve the educational experience for every Oregon FBLA member. To help us develop the leadership skills that we needed to lead tremendous tasks, we used some of the funding provided by the state legislature to contract professional student leadership coaches. The other officers and I then led workshops on the various skills and topics that we developed for all of the other Oregon FBLA members. The training that we received, and the workshops that we led, would not have been possible without funding from the Oregon legislature.
The skills I learned in FBLA were a major reason I received a job offer from Bain & Company, one of the premier business strategy consulting firms in the world, upon graduating from college. Through the rigorous training and projects that I engaged in at Bain, I learned how to complement the leadership skills I had first learned in FBLA with strong analytics and strategic thinking skills. However, the most fulfilling project that I completed while at Bain was a volunteer non-profit consulting project with an arts program for at-risk youth in Oakland, California. For this project I had to manage a team of five other consultants and plan out the research and analysis for which each team member would be responsible, all while making sure the project was on track with the non-profits board of directors. The leadership skills that I gained from FBLA made the project such a success that I received an offer to work for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg because of it.
Working for the NYC government was the first time that I had been given official responsibility for leading a team. At 24 years old this could have been a daunting task since, professionally, young adults don’t have the opportunity to lead a team (or receive leadership training) until their 30s (Harvard Business Review article on the subject: http://bit.ly/14OObOT). The many opportunities that I had to lead others (starting with FBLA) allowed me to continue to excel and develop as a leader and manager. This quality was also the main reason why I was accepted to Harvard Business School’s MBA program.
Currently, I am leading a team of 17 Brazilians as the Chief Marketing Officer at Baby.com.br. This role is a significant step up in difficulty and responsibility from anything I have ever done. However, I am confident that I can succeed because of the leadership and technical skills that I have continuously developed ever since I joined FBLA 11 years ago.
Supporting House Bill 2985 will allow Oregon’s high school students to learn and grow, just as I did. The leadership and technical training that FBLA and other CTSOs provide at an early age will create the next generation of highly skilled employees for Oregon’s workforce. This can only happen with funding support for HB 2985.
I joined DECA to help prepare myself for my future college education and careers. DECA has not only prepared me, but has influenced my decisions as to where I would like to attend school, and what I'd enjoy studying. I've met several other students during my time in DECA that are motivated, dedicated, and passionate about what they do. DECA members also act with leadership, integrity, and perform services to better their community. DECA has made me a better leader, student, and member of my community. I believe that DECA or other CTSO's will continue to improve the lives of students everywhere if given the proper funding and support!
I was persuaded to join DECA my freshman year by my school's DECA adviser. Having an interest in business and wanting to better prepare myself for the future, I jumped at the opportunity-and I am so glad that I did. When I think of what DECA has done for me, I break it down into three main categories: visit new places, meet amazing people, and develop an understanding of business strategies that will benefit me in my future. In my opinion, traveling the world and visiting new places is something that everyone should have the ability to do. This not only allows you to "get away" but to develop perspective and learn about different cultures and geographical areas. My second point—meeting (new) and amazing people—is definitely one that I feel strongly about for I believe that networking plays a huge role in people's lives. When you get the opportunity to network, you are able to establish friendships, and even lifelong friendships, that can greatly benefit you. I have heard many times by teachers and administrators that "in the real world" it is not always what you know, but rather who you know. My last point ties back to the beginning of this paper for I greatly appreciate the knowledge I have acquired through this organization. I have both learned important business strategies and practices, and also how to incorporate this knowledge into real business situations. Overall, in my quest to better myself and prepare myself for the future, I have found that getting involved in DECA was one of the smartest things that I could have ever done. Since joining DECA I have visited three new states, expanded my network and met a ton of amazing people who have similar career interests as me, and learned an incredible amount about marketing, finance, management, how to think more like a "business man." This year I am have become a state officer and have an even greater opportunity to let DECA have it's positive influence on me. I have learned so much from DECA already, and I'm glad to say that it is an organization that I will stick with forever.
As the former Oregon Future Business Leaders of America State President, I am proud to call myself a product of the opportunities that Future Business Leaders of America has afforded me in my five years as an active member. Throughout my FBLA membership, I have helped pioneer new operations in our local chapter, as well as developed professional and leadership skills. My state officer experience has shown that proper planning and innovation are driving factors to any successful organization. My FBLA experience has molded my future aspirations as I will be attending the University of Oregon and obtaining a Masters in Business Administration before pursuing a career in international business consulting.
I am a firm believer that I am one of thousands of students whose ambitions and career paths have been influenced by Career and Technical Student Organizations. My CTSO journey started when I learned about American Free Enterprise by the "cool kids" in high school. A few, short years later, I was involved with every possible aspect of my local FBLA chapter I could find. A pinnacle point of my leadership choices was running for a chapter office in 8th Grade. I was one of the youngest students to ever do so. After dawning a floppy pair of dress shoes from my step dad, and completing a shaky voiced interview, I got the position of Event Coordinator.
I would not stop there, as the next two years I served as our chapter president. It was my goal to continue improving and innovating in Imbler FBLA, so we facilitated a Ping Pong Tournament for the March of Dimes. Imbler FBLA also started holding an annual Kids Night Out event for elementary students.
In contrast, there are still thousands of Oregon students who are chomping at the bit to discover their passions, but they don’t have the resources or opportunity to do so.
It’s the efforts from our volunteer advisers that have given students, like me, opportunities to excel. I know my local adviser spends many late nights and time away from her family to ensure our local chapter has the ability to compete at all levels of FBLA. She isn’t paid the big bucks to do so, but she is passionate about the benefits of FBLA, CTSOs, and CTE as a whole. Sadly, it’s become harder and harder for advisers to replicate the work that a handful of dedicated teachers have done. The benefits the CTSO Rejuvenation Act is an investment in the future of our state. I truly believe the future of business, agriculture, healthcare, and every occupation in between will reap the benefits of HB 2985.
Future Business Leaders of America changed my life. While a freshman in high school, I was withdrawn, depressed, and I didn't want to come out of my shell. I was really sick, and my doctor suggested that I take a year off, fearing I wouldn't graduate.
My involvement in FBLA changed all of that. Because of my involvement with my local chapter, I started to care about school, my grades, and my future. I saw life past my senior year and my small town, and I started to dream about what I could accomplish in my future.
I went on to hold three chapter offices, two state offices, finish top ten at SBLC six times, place 4th in the nation in Sports Management, become Oregon FBLA's Who's Who, earn all four levels of the Business Achievement Awards, and two President's Volunteer Service Awards, donating over 4,000 hours of community service through my involvement with the organization.
I am now a junior at Oregon State University, double majoring in accounting and finance and minoring in political science, and I know without a doubt that I would not be here without FBLA. Looking back, joining FBLA was the single best decision I made in high school.
I believe in the power of CTSOs, because I am a success story.
I used to be the shy awkward kid who feared being called on in class. I was perfectly content with blending in. I wasn’t quite sure of how I fit in so following the crowd was always the easiest option and I never failed to take it. That is, until my teacher asked me to join DECA. The thought of putting myself out there and having to learn how to speak in front of others terrified me. But with some gentle guidance and a good old heave ho out of the bird’s nest, I was able to fly.
Through DECA I gained the confidence and knowledge to be able to take on many leadership roles throughout my school. I was involved in all most every organization you could think of, and the only thing that stopped me from being more involved was the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. I also ran for a chapter, state, and national office while in DECA, something I never would have even dreamed of being reality.
DECA has given me the resources I need to be successful in whatever path I choose in life. It has taught me how to work and smile through every situation and come out even better than before. Thanks to DECA I was able to receive enough scholarships to attend Grand Canyon University (my dream school) this fall and will pursue my passion for Marketing. DECA can take any student and transform them into someone extraordinary!
Ever since I was little, my home life hasn’t been very stable. All of that changed when I came across my Eagle Point High School, Oregon, SkillsUSA Chapter and found not only and organization that would help my leadership skills; but a family.
My advisor and chapter has been there for me every step of the way! Through the next couple of years, I became Chapter President, my grades picked up and I was always at school working on something. I was then given the opportunity to be a part of the Oregon State Leadership Team and that was an experience I will never forget. SkillsUSA helped my goal of going to college become a reality as well.
I was awarded The Ford Scholars Scholarship this year which will pay for 90% for 4 years of all my college needs. I am headed to Portland State! SkillsUSA wasn’t just a step for me; but an escalator into my future."
DECA is an outstanding student organization. It has been a tremendous plus in students educational and vocational paths. I have seen hundreds of students acquire skills, responsibilities, and experience which all transfer to the work world. DECA is powerful for the students' growth in themselves and the world after high school."
Oregon DECA has been an integral part of my life since I first joined my freshman year of high school. Coming from a small town on the Oregon Coast and a high school with limited opportunities, DECA and CTSOs were my way to excel and achieve outside of the classroom. Through my time in DECA, I served as State Publicity Director and State President, positions that taught me the importance of leadership, service to others, and to always give back to the organizations that have given me so much. As a college senior, I cannot thank Oregon DECA and the CTSO programs as a whole for the hands-on and real-world experiences I received, and would not be where I am today without the lessons I learned through Oregon DECA. I thank all of those who currently support House Bill 2985 and encourage further support in order to ensure that today's Oregon youth receive the same experiences I was able to during my high school career.
FFA has changed my life dramatically, when I became an FFA member I was a green hand I got so many awards and it felt so good because i new I got something accomplished and I represented my school/ chapter. I am looking forward to many more years to come and winning more awards in my future and maybe come a state officer.
I am a member of our Imbler FBLA Chapter and I am also an officer. This last year I was our chapters community service representative which entitled me to conduct and organize our Little Steps Program we have here at Imbler. Also overlooking and helping with all other community service projects. This upcoming year I will serve as secretary/treasurer where I will be helping with the finances of our chapter and keeping records and notes of what goes on throughout our chapter. FBLA has taught me responsibility and given me an option to learn more about business and being a leader in the program. Also it has brought me more opportunities to meet and interact with new people and step out of my comfort zone.
Several years ago I volunteered to judge at Oregon's annual DECA event in Portland. I was so impressed with what I saw from the students in terms of effort, professionalism and training that I have returned to serve as a judge every year. My confidence in our young people was fully restored. As a hiring manager I see DECA as an important part of growing our economy as the program is excellent at preparing our students for college and professional life. As a tax payer, the funding is something I support. For some students from low income homes this may be their best opportunity at receiving critical training they need to succeed beyone high school. Let's pass HB 2985 and continue preparing our students for life after high school.
I am an Oregon DECA alum from Bend Senior High’s class of 2002. I use CTSO skills daily working with the U.S. State Department in Washington, DC and abroad. Most recently I spent one year in Afghanistan working with the U.S. Embassy and Afghan women. Now I am in Burma, supporting local groups to design programs that promote national reconciliation. I believe the work I do advances U.S. national security by breaking cycles of violent conflict and mitigating crises in countries around the globe.
When I reflect on what prepared me for international work, I credit my DECA experiences. From service projects to yearly competitions, DECA taught me to apply what I was learning in the classroom to real life scenarios. Because of DECA, I learned how to work collaboratively, think critically and strategically, and most of all how to find passion in my vocation.
As a recipient of several DECA scholarships, I was able to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles and then pursue my dream career in international diplomacy. No matter where I go, I will always remember the amazing organization and mentors who prepared me for a successful and fulfilling life.
I support funding to Oregon’s CTSOs – please pass HB2985!
As a freshman in high school I decided to follow in my older brother's foot steps and join the Future Business Leaders of America. I quickly found Career Technical Education to be the perfect niche for my high school experience. As a competitive, driven, and extroverted teenager my involvement in FBLA and DECA served as a catalyst for my success in college and beyond.
Not every high school student is a jock or a musician. Career Technical Education provides an excellent avenue for high school students interested in building career success early on. Through my involvement in CTSO learning I have made life long friends, learned from important mentors, and found confidence.
As a high school student I competed at the state and national levels. Having this opportunity not only helped build my self esteem and foster important relationships, but it also took abstract classroom concepts from AP Econ and Marketing and put them into real world scenarios. It made classroom learning make sense!
I have never interviewed for a job I was not later offered. I contribute my 100% success rate for interviewing to the opportunity I had to compete in "job interview" as a high school student. FBLA & DECA both provided an important foundation of skills, knowledge, and practice that continues to help me 15+ years out of high school.
Looking back I can't imagine my high school experience without CTSO education! It has blessed and enriched my life, and I am grateful to be the recipient of such a profound educational experience.
A place to belong, a place to achieve, and a place to better my future. Those were the things I looked for as a fourteen-year-old just starting to figure out my path in life. Friends and teachers told me I should join DECA. Diving into something new scared me, but I knew it was opportunities like DECA, that would shape me into a confident young leader and bring a bright future. I had seen it happen first-hand to other students I knew.
As the months and years went by, I felt myself becoming more poised, better at thinking on my feet, and even starting to speak in front an audience with less and less anxiety. I was highly interested in marketing and soaking up all of the marketing knowledge I was learning and applying through participation in DECA. I was also becoming a prominent leader in my local DECA chapter, and spilling that leadership over to other areas of my life such as church youth group and mentoring younger students.
The pinnacle of my DECA experience, and a year of tremendous growth, happened when I was elected as the District II Vice President of Oregon DECA. The change in confidence I had been feeling all along, grew even stronger. I had new skills and abilities that could only be learned through real-life experience, brought by a CTSO like DECA. I could stand in front of 1,000 peers and speak with no hesitation or anxiety. I learned how to be a leader, how to connect and network with others, and how to put my dreams into action. The place I had been searching for as a fourteen-year-old was found, and it had given me more than I could ever imagine. I went on to college at the University of Oregon, receiving a full-ride scholarship because of my academic achievements and involvement in DECA. Last summer, I finished my Masters Degree. I am a product of CTSOs, and many of my achievements are because of the skills, knowledge and discipline I gained through involvement in CTSOs.
I now have the privilege of working for many CTSOs and serving the students and advisors that make their organizations outstanding. DECA brought more to my life than I can articulate, and knowing that other students are receiving the same opportunities through DECA and other CTSOs excites me about tomorrows leaders. Please join with me, and continue to support our future work force through House Bill 2985!
Support of HB 2985 is so critical to the future of Oregon CTSOs and I encourage strong support for this bill. In 40 years as an educator, nothing had as much impact on my students and their success as their involvement in FBLA. It was always exciting and rewarding to watch the personal growth in many, many students . . . leadership skills, academic skills, social skills, etc. The recognition it brought to many students as well as to our school and community is priceless. There are hundreds of stories of personal impact throughout the many CTSOs in Oregon. Support of HB 2985 is critical for continued success so that hundreds more students can experience the same success.