First, I would like to apologize for being MIA the past few Sunday’s. I have had a lot on my plate juggling finals and DECA so keeping up with my blog has been a struggle. I will definitely start getting back on track soon, but for now, I just wanted to take a second and thank one of the greatest organizations of all time: Massachusetts DECA. I was debating on doing this blog post but leaving out this huge part in my life would feel inauthentic.
For those of you who are unaware of what DECA is, the standard definition is a business organization that “prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in areas of marketing, finance, hospitality, and management, in high schools and colleges around the globe.” This definition and mission statement is by far an understatement and I think that every DECA member out there can agree that DECA is much more than just another club.
Over the past four years, DECA has changed my life in ways that I myself cannot even comprehend. I joined this club “DECA” to dress up and hang with friends during my sophomore year of high school. I joined because it was “cool” and because I had known people from other schools that were in this once unknown organization. Little did I know that a few years later I would hold a spot on State Action Team 58 representing over 6,000 Massachusetts DECA members.
During my senior year I spent countless hours on working and developing my campaign, my materials, my slogan, my mission statement, my platform, etc. I was in my chapter advisor’s room every day beginning in October asking for his opinion and help on my speeches, materials, and just general opinions on DECA. Thank you Mr. MacPhail, if you ever stumble upon this article, for all of the advice you gave me not only about DECA but for life as well. You became my DECA Dad and I’m not sure how I will ever be able to thank you for all the support you’ve given me… you’ve truly changed my life and helped shape me into the confident young woman I am today.
One of the many things that DECA has taught me is to continuously find inspiration in everything that surrounds you. In my farewell speech at the 2017 State Career Development Conference Grand Awards Session this past Saturday, I stated, “Throughout my term I was able to immerse myself in the passion that every Massachusetts DECA member brings to the table. As a DECA member, you are strong, you are confident, and most importantly, you are inspiring. Every member has inspired me to try a little harder, smile a little brighter, and love this organization a little deeper.” Writing my farewell took me hours. I was not sure how to say goodbye to an organization that has given me so much in thirty short seconds. What words could possibly do my emotions justice? That is when I started writing and suddenly the words just flowed. I truly wanted to emphasize the impact that 6,000 MA DECA members had on me over the past year. The emotions, the people, the alumni, the chapters… none of them will ever be forgotten.
Over this past year, I had discovered so much about my myself because of my team, my State Advisor Donna McFadden, and most importantly, because of every single member of Mass DECA. My fellow members on the State Action Team have truly changed my life. A year ago I would have never thought that standing next to some strangers on stage after we got elected would soon become my lifelong best friends. Abby, Ankeeta, Katie, Shea, Jaron, and Ryan, thank you for being the best DECA family a girl could ask for and I am so happy that it was you guys along side me this past year.
Don’t get me wrong, there were moments where DECA seemed like more of hassle with the constant stress, sleep deprivation, and not even having enough time to wait in a Starbucks line but nevertheless, all of that is what makes DECA so special. Who would have ever thought that getting ten hours of sleep in three days would be the days I lived for?
Over the past few days the tears have surely come an gone, and I can promise you they aren’t quite done yet, but I just wanted to simply say thank you to everyone who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. It has truly been the biggest honor serving Massachusetts DECA on Team 58. Massachusetts DECA will always be a part of who I am…
Layne Marie Kingman