Madeline Severson: My DECA Story


By: Madeline Severson

Going to ICDC in Orlando as a freshman inspired me to work hard for the rest of my course as a DECA member, to gain as many business skills as possible, and become the best I can be to make a difference in the future. Throughout my following few years as a DECA member, I shapeshifted into a confident public speaker and presenter. However my favorite DECA memory didn’t take place behind the blue curtain of competition. The real impact of DECA takes place in less obvious forms, of community involvement and newfound life opportunities. My chapter’s community service project impacted me the most; this is my story.

Our community service project focused on homelessness in Houston, and helping the homeless youth. I volunteered with my chapter at the Covenant House for numerous weekends. However the first time I walked into the Covenant House, I was unaware of the experience I was about to undergo. Immediately I got along with the other kids staying in the house. Over the sound of the intakes and I playing a round of Uno, I heard two teenagers living in the house having a conversation about me.

“Do you think she’s a new intake?”

“No, she looks happy.”

Hearing this completely changed my perspective on life. The fact that DECA was the organization that brought me to this experience, makes me want to convince every highschooler to join DECA and participate and push themselves in community service projects that will truly change their lives forever. DECA’s community service involvement benefits everybody, even the volunteers. Those homeless teenagers had seen straight past my appearance and into my purpose without even asking my name. This eye opening experience motivates me to commit myself to community service, and I hope DECA opens similar doors for many other students as well.