DECA AT&T Year in Review | 2018-2019

Page 1



JULY 2018 - JUNE 2019



DECA students from around the country were ecstatic about AT&T’s continued engagement throughout the year. From supporting DECA competitions as volunteer judges, mentoring students at college and career readiness workshops, to developing dynamic student programs with our local teachers and administration, AT&T volunteers have inspired our DECA members to thrive in their personal and professional growth. As one student stated about his experience with the AT&T mentoring program, “The #DECAATTProject has opened a world of opportunities for me that I hadn’t previously considered. Working with my mentor allowed me to consider ideas like attending college or building my self-confidence to start my own Collegiate DECA chapter. I’m excited to create new experiences because of this confidence I’ve gained, and I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned working with our mentors.” This narrative, along with others has become the foundation of the mentorship and we are excited to share the statistics, accomplishments and impact stories that comprise an epic project year. Are you #ReadyForIt?






A total of 11,158 students were served throughout the year. Of these students, 7,757 participated in mentoring events at the local, state, and/or national level through DECA’s competitive events and special on-site college and career workshops. In addition to participating in unique #DECAATTProject functions, students in this category also engaged with AT&T volunteers through dedicated Employee Groups and business units as described throughout the report. In addition, 3,401 students comprised the traditional #DECAATTProject which included 32 schools in 19 states. The demographics of the #DECAATTProject are described as follows:

75% 55% 45% 78%





EACH INTERACTION MATTERS In collaboration with DECA partner, the National Research Center for College and University Admissions (NRCCUA), students in #DECAATTProject completed surveys designed to determine the impact of the project on students’ college and career plans and their readiness for each. The results are included below:



Attained 21st Century Skills: collaboration, communication, creativity & critical thinking

Reported that DECA participation academically prepared them for college and a career



My connection with our community champions is something I will forever be grateful for. Our working relationship has allowed us to collaborate and design meaningful mentoring sessions and create real-life experiences that the students may not have been exposed to.� Nakeesha Wilson, Campbell High School, GA

Reported that DECA participation influenced their career plans

Helped me recognize the benefit and responsibility of community service



Connected school to the real world

Empowered me to become an effective leader

76% Reported that they are more interested in attending secondary education

#DECAATTProject Year in Review | 3


With over 1.47 million impressions during the project year, DECA students, AT&T volunteers and project supporters utilized social media to promote their project highlights throughout the year. By using #DECAATTProject on social media platforms and accessing live-video based learning networks like Nepris, communities across the country were able to connect with AT&T employees across the globe and share their project experiences.




Thirty-two schools were selected to participate in the #DECAATTProject based on the following criteria: • •

• •

A student population that matched the AT&T Aspire target audience Local DECA chapter advisor and school administration support of the program goals and responsibilities State DECA advisor support for program goals and responsibilities Proximity to AT&T offices and volunteers Decatur High School, Decatur, AL (Huntsville area) Lee High School, Huntsville, AL Wenonah High School, Birmingham, AL San Leandro High School, San Leandro, CA Overland High School, Aurora, CO Smoky Hill High School, Denver, CO Escambia High School, Pensacola, FL Lyman High School, Longwood, FL (Orlando area) Thomas Jefferson High School, Tampa, FL Campbell High School, Smyrna, GA (Atlanta area) Langston Hughes High School, Fairburn, GA (Atlanta area) Borah High School, Boise, ID Streamwood High School, Schaumburg, IL (Chicago area)

4 | #DECAATTProject Year in Review

Madison Park High School, Boston, MA Career Development Center, Jackson, MS Gulfport High School, Gulfport, MS Northeast High School, Kansas City, MO Riverview Gardens High School, St. Louis, MO Seventy-First High School, Fayetteville, NC West Caldwell Technical School, West Caldwell, NJ (Bedminster area) Freehold High School, Middletown, NJ Cleveland Heights High School, Cleveland, OH North High School, Akron, OH George Washington High School, Philadelphia, PA Kensington International Business High School, Philadelphia, PA Abraham Lincoln High School, Philadelphia, PA RB Stall High School, Charleston, SC Overton High School, Memphis, TN South Houston High School, Houston, TX WT White High School, Dallas, TX Tyee High School, SeaTac, WA (Seattle area) Poca High School, Poca, WV (Huntington area)


DECA students from 12 high schools across the country celebrated the importance of making a difference in their communities. From hosting digital safety seminars for elementary students to planning a prom for disabled students— DECA members embraced AT&T’s mission of community engagement. Students drove the message to the peer groups by hosting AT&T Diversity and Inclusion projects in their classrooms, lunch periods, and conference functions. The DINE (Discover differences, Include one another, Navigate new perspectives, Eat) experience allowed students to celebrate diversity while learning about different backgrounds, cultures, and morals.


DECA students continued to embrace the collaboration with AT&T Employee Group, OASIS (Organization of Asian Indians at AT&T). Select groups of DECA students across the country participated in corporate workshops led by local entrepreneurs and market researchers. Over 650 students had the opportunity to learn first hand tips on how to successfully start a business, focus on niche markets when exploring their audience, and begin developing a business plan.


650 PEOPLE Being able to engage in AT&T’s diversity and inclusion project, DINE, has been such an uplifting experience for our students. It has brought my students together in more ways than I can count and has inspired my students to become more effective leaders.” Lynore Levenhagen, Lyman High School, FL


“Support, confidence, and mentorship…” The recipe for a dynamic program as stated by our oxyGEN chapter in Seatac, Washington. Alana Vinther, DECA teacher at Tyee High School, has seen her students not only academically flourish from the monthly mentoring sessions with AT&T’s young professionals over the past three years, but has recognized an increase in her students matriculating to college with AT&T’s guidance.



DECA is excited to continue participating in AT&T’s career workshops hosted through AT&T Call Centers. Students have benefitted from the group-focused skill rallies to promote college and career readiness topics, such as dress for success, business etiquette, and team building.



AT&T volunteers and DECA teachers worked together to plan pilot events for students that honed in on leadership development skills. Through mentorship with AT&T’s rising executives, students developed a better sense of understanding on what it means to be a leader and the importance of displaying those characteristics in high school.

After building a successful foundation with cohorts of students from various high schools, AT&T volunteers furthered their reach by adding two additional program schools to a vibrant mentoring project. Juniors and seniors from seven schools across the country, met monthly to instill the importance of preparing for college and the workforce. Students and volunteers built a solid bond while discussing educational experiences, challenging students to think outside of the box in terms of leadership skills and celebrating student accomplishments.


One school from Long Island City, NY, participated with a small group from AT&T University to provide feedback through a focus group on cyberbullying and digital safety. Some parents and school staff were also included to provide the adult perspective as new products and services are developed for parents purchasing devices for their children.

This year my students grew in areas of confidence, professionalism, and trust because of their engagement with AT&T mentors. Students became better communicators and realized the wide range of opportunities in store for them after high school.” Rebecca Palmer, WT White High School, TX

6 | #DECAATTProject Year in Review

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: IT CAN WAIT! This year, DECA teamed up with AT&T to launch a text-topledge challenge in support of AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign against distracted driving. DECA chartered associations participated by securing pledges in their communities. After six months of campaign promotion, school-wide pledge events, and social media frenzies—DECA surpassed the pledge goal for the DECA/AT&T It Can Wait Challenge! With Texas DECA leading the charge in their statewide community service event, DECA secured over 15,000 pledges to help put an end to smartphone distracted driving! Pledge promotion continued throughout the year at DECA’s regional, state and international competitions. Students were encouraged to spread the word and pledge by participating in It Can Wait’s VR activities and hosting student led workshops at state conferences. Based on DECA’s phenomenal effort, AT&T graciously recognized states with the highest number of pledges at DECA’s International Career Development Conference (ICDC).

The Texas DECA association was honored to collaborate with AT&T volunteers to promote the It Can Wait message statewide. As part of their community service campaign, Texas DECA officers encouraged students throughout the state to promote distracted-free driving through social media campaigns, videos and events. The support we received throughout the project led to thousands of pledges and student recognition for their efforts. We were pleased to be a part of this meaningful movement.” Josh Shankle, Executive Director at Texas DECA


#DECAATTProject Year in Review | 7




As a high school senior, Heaven has had to overcome one challenge after another in her home life. She often feels the pressure that comes from having a parent who suffers from chronic illness, financial limitations, possible eviction, as well as a step-father and siblings working two-to-three jobs to make ends meet. Heaven has also taken on a part-time job to help pay for her mother’s expensive prescription medications and other household expenses. If these challenges were not enough, like any 17-year-old, she has suffered from low self-esteem and feeling like she wouldn’t fit in when transferring to North High as a sophomore. It took marketing teacher and DECA advisor, Mr. Mathews, to unknowingly get Heaven out of her comfort zone and introduce her to a life-changing #DECAATTProject experience.

As a senior, I knew I was interested in business. After talking with a few of my friends about any potential business-related clubs, one of them encouraged me to join DECA. At first, I didn’t know what it was or anything about it, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and started going to their weekly chapter meetings. Once I got involved with DECA it opened many doors for me to learn about business administration and prepare for the “real-world” through my competitive events.

The #DECAATTProject has played a major role in Heaven’s social and intellectual development. She fondly recalls meeting Mrs. Tania Thomas, AT&T Community Champion. “Mrs. Tania’s story truly inspired me,” Heaven says. “Her story and encouragement are why I got further involved in DECA, and it has paid off.” Heaven recounts Mrs. Tania’s transparency as she shared her own story filled with struggles of low selfesteem and the challenges women and minorities often face on the road to success. She inspired the DECA students as she told them how she dealt with lack of confidence and her determination to work hard and prove not only that she was good enough, but that she was better. Heaven acknowledges that had it not been for the DECA program, the #DECAATTProject and Mrs. Tania, her high school career would have taken a completely different direction. Because of Mrs. Tania’s influence, and the impact of the #DECAATTProject, Heaven has made great strides in her selfesteem and ambitions. She is excited about her plans to break a generational curse and attend Kent State in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a minor in Communications. She also plans to continue after undergrad and pursue a master’s degree in Business Administration.

Being a part of DECA not only allowed me to experience the joys of competition, like placing top ten in my district, but I also was mentored by AT&T professionals throughout the year. We visited AT&T facilities and attended networking workshops where we spoke with employees at all different levels. While at a store visit, I made a connection with an AT&T store manager. We were discussing my future goals, and where I saw myself in five years. He asked me to send him my resume, which I didn’t really think much of it and assumed it was because he wanted to review and provide feedback. I was completely unaware that it would turn into an interview, which resulted in a job with AT&T at one of their stores! I can honestly say that because of my gamble to step out and join DECA, and the support from AT&T, these are the reasons I am where I am today. I have a job at an AT&T store; while I don’t know where that will take me, I know it will help build and start my career. As I take on new adventures after high school, I am extremely grateful to DECA and AT&T. I hope they will continue helping students like me for years to come and are able to give future students the same opportunities exposed to me. The support of my co-workers and managers is the best part of my job as a sales representative. They are there to assist and answer questions as new challenges arise. I wouldn’t have this job without DECA and #DECAATTProject. I look forward to continuing my education at Robert Morris University and furthering my development at AT&T in the coming year.” Yessica Leon, Streamwood High School Alumna, IL

8 | #DECAATTProject Year in Review

THANK YOU. “The #DECAATTProject has made me excited about receiving higher education and entering the workforce. I’m more prepared for leadership opportunities as I enter my senior year of high school and am ready to take on larger roles in my school, community and DECA chapter. Thank you for creating a space that encourages me to follow my dreams.” Mei-Lan Holland, West Caldwell Tech, NJ

“The #DECAATTProject helped me prepare for my competitive events at my local, state and international competitions. Without the words of advice from my mentors, I may not have excelled in the intangible business skills such as: conducting a proper interview, completing a stand-out application, or developing my resume. All their guidance led me to be an international qualifier at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC)! Thank you!”

Working with a dynamic group of mentors has been a life changing experience for all DECA members across the country. Though not every token of appreciation could be shown, a few expressions and words of gratitude were captured throughout the year.

“Without the support of AT&T I wouldn’t have been able to experience and appreciate DECA the way I do now. The engagement with my AT&T mentors has made me more confident and open-minded to communicate with others. Attending the national conference with AT&T’s support, was an eye-opening experience and it allowed me realize DECA was where I want to be.” Eugenia Plummer, Overton High School, TN

“I have been so fortunate to receive college mentoring through the AT&T employee group, oxyGEN. My mentors not only advised me on college applications and how to pay for college, they also helped me and my friends understand what college is like through the eyes of a students. I feel confident in going to college as a result of the time with my mentors.” Allie Cruz, Tyee High School, WA

Nicolas Henson, Poca High School, WV

“A quote that will always stand out to me from my experience with the AT&T mentors is, ‘fortune favors the old and mistakes are only opportunities to grow.’ This quote, which my mentor continuously stated, encouraged me to not be afraid to take risks and fail. I’m excited to use these steps as I enter my first year of college.”

“This project has given me the opportunity to reach out more to my community. Being able to make an impact on the lives of senior citizens and build my self-confidence in public speaking through our digital awareness workshops has inspired me to want to step out of my comfort level.” Valeria Yepez, Thomas Jefferson High School, FL

Skyler Swenson, Freehold High School, NJ

#DECAATTProject Year in Review | 9

OVER 200 #DECAATTPROJECT PARTICIPANTS met at DECA’s International Career Development Conference to meet students from across the country and share their experiences with AT&T community champions. Students and teachers were asked to describe the impact this mentorship has made and how it has shaped their future outlooks. Captured above are a few sentiments. 10 | #DECAATTProject Year in Review


2019-2020 The project continues to grow by leaps and bounds. The plans for the academic year ahead include a deeper dive into AT&T’s corporate initiatives and encouraging students to flourish as they enter college and career. The #DECAATTProject will build upon the strength of the successful project model and expand the scope of its elements. All current project components will continue and the sphere of impact on DECA students will continue as the following initiatives are welcomed.


Five schools nationwide will receive mentoring support from Xandr, AT&T’s advertising and analytics company. Volunteers will work with students to reach their full potential after high school.


DECA students nationwide are encouraged to join AT&T in the promotion of online positivity by being part of a movement to drive awareness around cyberbullying. After completion of an online lesson, students may participate in the DECA #LaterHaters Challenge. The Challenge provides a platform for students to show their creativity and validate the impact by spreading the message in local communities to drown out the online haters.

What a privilege and honor to have worked with the 2018-2019 #DECAATTProject. The students are incredibly talented, energized, and filled with countless possibilities. The DECA staff support system is solid, caring, and focused. The teachers’ commitment to excellence and their students’ future is breathtaking. Thankful for this amazing collaboration between AT&T and DECA.” Toyka King, AT&T Technical Field Services

CORPORATE REAL ESTATE, REAL ESTATE OPERATIONS & FINANCE TRANSFORMATION The Corporate Real Estate, Real Estate Operations and Finance Transformation team in Dallas adopted a high school for the 2019-2020 school year. The collaboration will include a series of mentoring events at school, at AT&T, and on a college campus. Students will benefit by being best prepared for college and careers.

#DECAATTProject Year in Review | 11

19 0 8 ASSOC I AT I ON D R I V E , R E STO N , VA 2 01 9 1 | 703. 86 0. 5 0 0 0 | d e c

DECA Inc. is committed to creating and maintaining a healthy and respectful environment for all of our emerging leaders and entrepreneurs. Our philosophy is to ensure all members, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status are treated equally and respectfully. Any behavior in the form of discrimination, harassment, or bullying will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of all members to uphold and contribute to this climate.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.