OSAGE | Osage High School is filled with many different clubs. These clubs range from an E-Sports club all the way to the Osage business club, DECA.
DECA is a business organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for a possible future in the marketing, finance, hospitality, or management fields. DECA also helps students become better prepared for college.
One student at Osage High School is all for DECA and is even a state officer. Samantha Scharper, who is known by her friends and family as Sammi, has invested her time into DECA and has earned a position as a state officer.
For those unfamiliar with DECA, the club has three big conferences. The first two are in Iowa and the last one is an international conference. The first conference is in the fall and is primarily used for students to learn more about DECA and to do some networking with each other. Each student can explore different workshops and speakers to find out what they like.
The next two conferences are more like competitions. There are over 100 different categories students can compete, including marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Then whichever one they select, there is a 100 point written test, and then a role play is performed.
During the role play, students gets a situation they might have to deal with if they went into the business field. They speak to judges, usually business owners, managers, CEOs or accountants, who will ask the student questions related to their categories. After each of these conferences, the top three students receive certificates and the person who placed first gets a medal and trophy
Sammi loves everything about DECA.
She has been in it since it started three years ago. Sammi hadn’t thought about becoming a state officer until the first DECA leader at Osage, Ryan Smith, asked her in the hallway. When asked about this, Sammi said, “I wasn’t too sure at first, so I talked to some other people about it and ended up applying. I do not regret my decision.”
For those wondering, this is how the leadership position process works. First you need to have a sheet signed by parents and school officials to apply for what position you want. Next you need to take a 50 point test and get at least a 70 person. If you are smart enough to pass this test, you now need to show off your speaking skills in an interview. This interview is all about finding out who you are and how you can help DECA. Then after all of that, you have to give a speech to over 700 students at the state conference. Soon after the voting procedure starts and you find out the results the next day.
Sammi managed to pass everything her first year running and she was elected as Vice President of Career Development. Sammi said she, “Didn’t feel like she accomplished what she wanted to,” so she ran again. The second time around she landed the position of Vice President of Leadership. Sammi had to run against two other people for both positions. Sammi said, “It was an honor to be able to get elected again to help finish what I had started.”
Being a state officer is a big task. When you are a state officer, you have to basically run the show. You have to help set up the conferences and decide what is going to happen during the events.
When asked if she would suggest DECA to others, Sammi said, “I would definitely recommend DECA to anyone thinking about going into the business field or not. DECA teaches students how to properly dress and act in an interview. It also helps us with our communication and analyzing skills.
“Lastly, DECA also gives us the opportunity to meet so many people we would not have met otherwise.”