When it comes to getting involved with her community, Taylor Kalka is an expert. Wrapping up her fourth and final year as a member of DECA, a Career and Technical Student Organization focused on preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for their future careers, Taylor is college bound with no intention of slowing down!
Her leadership journey, however, started off just like anyone else––by taking a leap of faith and joining the organization that everyone was talking about. Fast-forward four years later and Taylor says, "as a fourth-year member of DECA, I have seen tremendous self-growth throughout my high school career. My first year of DECA was nerve wracking. It consisted of me having no business knowledge whatsoever, combined with being the only freshman in the organization."
Diving full-force into DECA, Taylor began attending local chapter meetings where she made new friends and begin to develop a deeper interest in business and professional development. When the opportunity came for her to attend a regional conference in her area, she made the decision that be a turning point in her life. "Walking into my first conference, I was stunned by the amount of opportunity and passion displayed in front of me," Taylor said.
Now, as a senior in high school, she serves as a leader on the state level and represents over 2000 student members to the Department of Education, district, state, and national government, and industry members. Taylor reflects on her time in office saying, "As the Area 5 President, I have worked with the Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce to help develop advocacy for our CTSO and provide new opportunities for our members. DECA doesn’t just teach us about finance and advertising, but it teaches us how to be prepared leaders inside and outside of the classroom."
From a quiet freshman afraid to speak her mind, to the assertive and fearless leader she is today, Taylor is thankful for the opportunities she's had in DECA.
For more information about how you can support CTSOs, please connect with us.