Magazine article Techniques

Students Soar at DECA's SoNAR Conference

Magazine article Techniques

Students Soar at DECA's SoNAR Conference

Article excerpt

MEMBERS OF THE CAREER AND TECHNICAL STUDENT ORGANIZATION DECA GAINED KNOWLEDGE, LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND INSPIRATION AT A CONFERENCE HELD IN OUR NATION'S CAPITAL.

CAREER AND TECHNICAL STUDENT organizations (CTSOs) are an effective mechanism for achieving the goals of education in the 21st century and No Child Left Behind. Through their hands-on approach to learning, CTSOs provide students with many opportunities to become actively involved in their learning and apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations. This experiential approach was vividly on display at DECA's November meeting of its North Atlantic and Southern Regions (SoNAR) in Washington, D.C.

"We wholeheartedly agree with the concept that total student development is necessary for our students to assume successful roles in society and the labor market. That's why we were so excited to host our SoNAR Conference in Washington, D.C.," says Ed Davis, DECA's executive director. "Where, other than our nation's capital, could we bring to life the importance and interconnection of marketing to citizenship and private enterprise?"

More than 1,800 DECA student members and advisers participated in the conference. Those attending participated in workshops and leadership experiences focusing on government, hospitality, entrepreneurship, leadership and marketing, including sports and entertainment marketing.

Government Track

A series of informative workshops held at the U.S. Capitol Building was designed for those who signed up for the government track. Focusing on the federal legislative process, the issues that directly impact career and technical education, and how young people can get involved to affect positive change, the workshops were conducted by congressional staff members, members of the Public Policy Department of the Association for Career and Technical Education, and representatives from the Democratic National Committee and the Leadership Institute.

Several of DECA's Congressional Advisory Board members, Representatives Thelma Drake (Va.) and Kenny Marchant (Texas), facilitated this incredible access to citizenship information, delivered in a setting that was itself most impressive. Those in the government track also received VIP tours of the Capitol Building, the White House, the Supreme Court and the Eibrary of Congress.

Private Enterprise Workshops

During the conference, members circulated among workshops leading to certificates in marketing, sales and service; finance; hospitality; chapter management; and entrepreneurship. These private enterprise workshops focused on the importance of entrepreneurship, marketing and management to our national economy. DECA worked closely with national education and industry partners to develop workshop content that advances both current policy objectives and workforce preparedness interests.

"Understanding the interconnection between business, government and society is critical to the success of any business," says Roger Glenn, vice president of human resources for Safeway, Inc. "That's why Safeway believes so strongly in the DECA program and was delighted to be part of the SoNAR Conference."

Thanks to DECA's national business partners, who were also in Washington, D.C., for their annual meeting, conference participants were able to engage industry experts on the strategies that make brands household names and build individual wealth for investors. …

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