Magazine article Techniques

The Power of CTSOs: Two Young Women Relate How Deca Shaped Their Lives

Magazine article Techniques

The Power of CTSOs: Two Young Women Relate How Deca Shaped Their Lives

Article excerpt

Whether they're blue or red, the career and technical student organization (CTSO) blazers represent more than neally two million students annually. When those members put On their blazers they become some of career and technical education's (CTS's) superheroes within their organizations. schools and communities. They become role models. leaders, philanthropists, project managers. advocates and our future.

The journey of CTS0 students is Cull of incredible experiences, and for each student, his or her participation in a CTSO will have a unique meaning. For some, it's about networking, for others it's about competing, and for others it's about preparing for the future. On the other hand, for CTE educators, it's all about the students and the stories they share about the impact GTE and CTSOs can make.

Morgan Thompson and Elsa Tavares are two of many GTE superheroes. Thompson and Mwares recently completed their terms as national officers for DECA and Collegiate DECA, respectively. Here. they share their experiences and reflections on the impact that. CTE and CTSOs have had on them, as well as the members they served.

he Voice of Members

Thompson: Serving as the national president of DECA was easily the greatest honor I have had because I got to dedicate myself to serving. the organization I love and make an impact on an international level. This opportunity gave mc the chance to meet people from around the world and connect through DECA. At each point in my DECA career I felt myself growing as a leader. But on the national team, I grew faster than I ever had before.

Tavares: The biggest impact of my term as national president was realizing that I was the voice or members that I interacted with. Each of them relied on the statements I made. I was the "eyes" or portal into the organization at the national level. For this reason, representing the organization in the highest of professional manners was a responsibility I took personally, and I applied the same honesty and integrity to my personal and academic lives as well.

Prepating Members for College and Careers

Tavares: I believe CTE and CTSOs are vehicle that drive students into college and careers with quantifiable. quality experiences that can be beneficial to cot patties across industries and the economy as a whole.

Thompson: There are no better tools that can prepare students fortheir future college and career plans like GTE and CTS0s. They give students relevant material, and challenges the students to think creatively about how they can apply it to their lives.

A New Kind of Learning

Thompson: GTE means a new kind of learning. It's a kind of learning that takes students beyond the classroom and shows them unlimited opportunities. It opens students' eyes to careers they never knew about, it pushes them to challenge the way they think and to gain skills they will use in their careers.

It's not just about the material you learn in CTE classes, it is the experience you receive by participating in CTSOs that brings the information to life. You gain professional skills needed for your career. Projects engaging the community, thinking creatively and working with teams to accomplish goals set CTE students far above the rest and help them enjoy school more while doing it.

Connecting Digitally

One major goal of Thompson's was to use social media in new ways. She spearheaded a Google+ Hangout with the national presidents of all the CTSOs during CTE Month in February 2013, as well as initiated many DECA social media initiatives. …

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