Friday, October 31, 2014

Student Feature Friday: Nipmuc Students attend Fall DECA Leadership Conference

Nipmuc's DECA program continues to be one of the highlights of our academic programming. Through DECA students have the opportunity to apply the skills they learn in the classroom to real-world business and marketing scenarios. In designing and carrying out a variety of DECA-related projects, our students continue to stretch the boundaries of what high school students are capable of when given the opportunity. During this week's Feature Friday post, I'm happy to highlight a number of students who had the chance to attend the DECA state leadership conference this week. 

Included below are thoughts from DECA students and leaders Lauren Adams, Madison Armstrong, Nathan Bentley, Samantha Capalucci, Christina Curtis, Ashley Dodd, Jack Gallagher, Jeremy Hall, Robert Herendeen, Alyssa Imparato, Brooke Jacquot, Thomas Keville, Meghan MacKay, Victoria Phillips, Madison Polay, Meredith Sarah, Ericka Scott, and Joria Todd. 

Q: How did this experience help you do develop your skills as a leader?
Lauren Adams: This experience helped me develop skills as a leader by putting me in an environment where I had to act as one. When we first arrived at the conference our school sat all together to then later find out that we would be mixed and have the opportunity to mingle with other schools. I sat at a table where I knew no one.  I had the pleasure to meet other schools and hear what they had to say about the activities we were currently doing. It was an amazing experience to go outside my comfort zone, to meet new people, and to find out leadership skills I didn't know I had before. This experience truly molded my idea of what a leader is.

Madison Armstrong: The DECA State Leadership Conference helped me better develop my skills as a leader by helping myself and the other members learn what it means to be a true leader. We Listened to people speak who had positive outlooks on life and showed us that in order to be a leader and spread a positive impact, you need to have a positive outlook on yourself and the day. Nobody will want to follow a leader that is negative about things.
Nathan Bentley:  Through constantly making a fool of myself by going up on stage and speaking at the podium (due to doing different public speaking exercises), I found myself becoming increasingly more comfortable with my role as a leader amongst my peers. I volunteered myself as an example for others to follow, and cleared the path for others that may have been skeptical or uncomfortable in order for them to feel more secure in attempting what was asked of me before them.

Samantha Capalucci:  My favorite part of the day was attending the workshops. These helped me to learn skills from effective leaders.
Christina Curtis:  This experience really did help me develop my skills as a leader. At one of the workshops I attended I walked away with a very inspirational view on being a leader. I was told this story about a teacher from Northbridge and how he was having a bad day one day. He told us that he met this woman who changed his view on life basically. She told him how putting a smile on someone's face and making someone's day better is going to make that person go out and do the same thing for someone else. I walked away wanting from now on to put a smile on someone's face, simply with just a smile. A smile is contagious. Also at this conference I attended another workshop on becoming a Mass DECA representative. It really has made me consider running for the Mass DECA chapter, and speeding my leadership skills.

Ashley Dodd: The experience I was able to take part in recently at Bentley University better developed my leadership skills. The leaders I witnessed were confident and extremely dedicated. The experience in general made me even more motivated to become a leader.
Jack Gallagher:  I think this experience greatly helped me develop skills as a leader, most specifically my public speaking skills. The most beneficial activity was I spoke about something for 30 seconds without saying like or umm and received feedback from a group. This feedback was very appreciated as some of the feedback I would not have picked up on. I hope to use this feedback and improve my speaking further.

Jeremy Hall:  The conference consisted of small segments, all of which focused on leadership skills. The strongest teaching tool was actually just one man giving a story about his commute to work. The point of it being the importance of positivity. As a leader, your positive attitude reflects on the people you lead. I never thought about such a concept, but I am certainly glad it was brought to my attention.
Robert Herendeen: This conference helped me determine what leadership style suited me best and what that means when it comes to my role as a member of DECA E-Board.

Alyssa Imparato: This experience helped to develop my skills as a leader by showing me the little things you can do that will benefit you in the long run. They showed me that there are many types of leaders and no matter who you are do not be afraid to speak up and voice an opinion.
Brooke Jacquot: The experience at Fall State Leadership Conference at Bentley has given me the skills to be a better leader. The officers led activities, which gained me the understanding of how to be better leader.

Thomas Keville: On Tuesday’s DECA trip I learned new things to better myself as a leader. This year I am running for state office for Massachusetts DECA so I wanted to learn the skills I needed to campaign in the SCDC. I had the chance to talk to current state officers and previous state officers. These skills will help me get the position I want and become a leader. I also got to see what Bentley College was like.
Meghan MacKay: This experience truly helped me to develop my skills as a leader. I learned that by being a leader in my community, I can help to create a friendlier environment for my peers. I also learned that by hard work and initiative, you can succeed and make things happen. I got a chance to meet new people and interact with past and present State Officers. This was a great opportunity and I am grateful for the chance to have been a part of the Leadership Conference this fall.

Victoria Phillips: This experience helped me to develop skills as a leader. It taught me how to speak up and be confident in myself as a leader. It taught me that leading people is an essential skill to be successful anywhere, in the business world or in another profession. This conference really helped me to gain new knowledge I may not have had before.
Madison Polay: The leadership conference allowed us to collaborate as a member of a team in solving problems. In order to complete this, people had to speak up and lead the group. We additionally practiced public speaking in front of people we are not familiar with.

Meredith Sarah:  At the fall state leadership conference I found it helpful to be paired with students from other schools to work on collaborating and speaking. I also enjoyed going to the workshops and learning how to be better prepared for my DECA role play.
Erika Scott: This conference helped me develop my skills as a leader because it allowed me to see what type of leader I am and how I can use the skills I possess to be an effective leader.

Joria Todd: This experience helped me as a leader because I gained confidence. In order to be able to speak in front of teachers, peers, coworkers, or employers, one must be confident and speak clearly and do well on the spot. There were 3 activities that related to improv. We were given a bizarre topic (clear gravy, our favorite decade, sad cheerleader) and had to talk about it for a minute and not say like or um. After completing this successfully, I realized I could do it and it wasn't as challenging as I anticipated. By being able to perform the task, I realized that public speaking does not have to be a nerve wracking task and there are easy and fun ways to practice it. Also, by seeing how eloquently the state advisors spoke, it made me confident and I had an idea of what to work for and an end goal.

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