Marysville DECA students serve the community

MARYSVILLE — A proclamation by Marysville’s mayor kicked off a full week of community service by local DECA students.

At the Oct. 10 Marysville City Council meeting, Mayor Jon Nehring designated Oct. 9-15 “DECA Week,” with half a dozen Marysville-Pilchuck High School DECA students in attendance, before 16 DECA students descended upon the Marysville Community Food Bank the next day, Oct. 11, to help the food bank’s volunteers sort and dispense food items to their clients.

After a number of students took part in the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness day by wearing pink to the M-PHS student store on Oct. 12, where they could also buy special cookies to support breast cancer awareness, a trio of DECA students showed up to the Merrill Gardens Retirement Community on Oct. 13 to deliver fall-themed treats and inspirational messages that were made by close to a dozen other DECA students to the assisted living residents.

The DECA students’ week of activity culminated in a cleanup at Jennings Park on Oct. 14, during which nine students filled up trash bags.

M-PHS junior Kaelah Dahl serves as the president of her DECA chapter and was one of the few DECA students who was able to participate in all the week’s events. Like William Hill, the DECA faculty advisor for M-PHS, she noted the difficulty of finding times during which all the students could meet, due to their athletic requirements, the PSAT that week and the furlough day that Friday.

“We had to work around a lot of people’s sports schedules,” Dahl said. “It was worth it to see the huge smiles at the nursing home, and to realize how much the people at the food bank need help.”

M-PHS DECA Secretary and sophomore Kiah Beeman echoed Dahl’s assessment that their DECA chapter is an extended family as much as it is a means for them to learn about business.

“DECA is always associated with marketing, but to me it’s more about helping, whether it’s volunteering at the food bank or helping a friend and fellow DECA member with their math homework,” Beeman said. “At the end of the day, we are there for each other and we just want to help make sure that we all succeed.”

“DECA has given me more success than I could imagine,” M-PHS DECA Historian and sophomore Rafael Achacoso said. “It helps prepare me for my future by fostering vital leadership skills.”

Hill explained that the students’ activities were chosen based on their impact to their campus and the surrounding community alike, after discussions that began at the first M-PHS DECA officer training day for the 2011-12 school year, back in August.

“This is my third year here at M-PHS and I know that this was the first time my students had participated in any of these groups,” Hill said. “We have been working to rebuild a strong DECA program, and the students this year are really taking the initiative to make this happen.”

Hill sees DECA Week as an opportunity for the rest of the community to get glimpses of what his students do outside the classroom throughout the year.

“These students are giving of themselves and their time to help fellow classmates, their school and their community,” Hill said. “DECA is encouraging them to become not only better prepared for their academic and professional futures, but also better citizens in our community.”


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