LAKEVILLE, IN. - LaVille senior Katelynn Beam never knew fours ago that she would be interested in helping to improve educational and career opportunities in marketing, management and entrepreneurship for students.
Now, some four years later, Beam is the DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) Region 1 President for the 2019-2020 school year.
As a sophomore she joined the LaVille DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) team. She competed in the Hosptality and Tourism category, which Beam says is a team event.
Then, as a junior she competed in the Food Marketing event and took district honors. She also went competed at the state level in 2018. Toward the end of her junior year, Beam decided to run for state office and was elected Region 1 President for the 2019-2020 school year.
As Region 1 President, Beam says that she has ". . . to reach out to different businesses and colleges to try and receive sponsors for our state conference. I also meet with the other members of my state officer team about once a month to work on several different things, with the main responsibility being to plan the state conference that takes place in March."
Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) is Acareer and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) that prepares high school students to better their leadership skills, set goals for themselves, work as a part of a team, and be able to develop several different employability skills. This is done through different competitions such as role plays or written events. These competitions challenge your skills of business management, while also allowing you to show your people skills and communicate your ideas with different judges. DECA brings so many opportunities to students across the world, while also allowing them to take away several different skills that will benefit them once they are out in the real world. When I went to the International Conference last school year, there were students from India and Korea!
"I have been involved in DECA for three years now," said Beam. "I joined my sophomore year and I competed in the Hospitality and Tourism category as a team event. My junior year I competed in the Food Marketing event and took second at district and went to state. I also ran for state office that year and was elected Region 1 President for the 2019-20 school year. I also had the opportunity to attend internationals my junior year in Orlando, Florida. As for my senior year, I am heavily involved in DECA more than I have been in the past years. Being a part of the state officer team I meet with the rest of my team about once a month in Indianapolis. I have also been working on getting our school chapter put together by increasing membership and establishing the officers of our school."
Beam did get a kind nudge from Mr. Wayne Thomas, the LaVille DECA advisor, encouraging her to seek the Region 1 President role.
"I became interested in the Region 1 President because Mr. Thomas mentioned that it was something he felt I would not only be good at, but also something that I would enjoy," explained Beam. "I would never have ran for this position if it wasn't for Mr.Thomas.
"My responsibilities as Region 1 President are to communicate all Indiana DECA needs to the chapters in my region and help them with whatever they need for their school to succeed," continued Beam. "I also have to reach out to different businesses and colleges to try and receive sponsors for our state conference. I also meet with the other members of my state officer team about once a month to work on several different things, with the main responsibility being to plan the state conference that takes place in March."
Beam has accepted this role with a sense of responsibility.
:Representing LaVille as DECA Region 1 President is something that is quite meaningful to me and something that I truly enjoy doing," concluded Beam. "With this position, I not only hope to better the LaVille DECA chapter but also to help and inspire future members to run for a state office position."
Thomas explains the process that Beam had to go through to be selected.
"Kate went through a multi-tiered selection process to be elected to Region 1 President," explained Thomas. "First she had to take a test reviewing the history of DECA, the current status of DECA, and what the mission and vision of DECA is. After passing that test, she went through multiple interviews with the adults who help run the state affairs for DECA. She was pressed on what she does as a student, what her goals are, how she can balance all of her goals and new responsibilities, and what she will bring to the table.
"Then she goes to another interview just to find out what kind of person she is... All of this just to be selected to move on to the student selection board," continued Thomas. "A group of her peers in Indianapolis listened to her prepared speech and got to ask her questions, then they voted on whether or not they believed she could be a representative of the state. Now she communicates with chapters from Gary to Elkhart and down to Lafayette! She helps plan statewide conferences and has given up weekends and parts of her summer to meet these commitments. She is only the second Region 1 President, so the role is still being defined. What she does today will help set the path for future presidents."