Friday, March 16, 2012

DECA Winner Needs Our Help to Get to National Competition

Lindsey Havyer
Regular readers of this blog (yes, BOTH of you ... Hi Mom) know from this March 10 post that Pottstown's DECA team kicked some serious DECA-butt at the 61st Annual State Career Development Conference held recently in Hershey.

Among those kicking some butt was Pottstown High School Junior Lindsey Havyer, who competed in the Community Service Project where she showcased her efforts of the “Pottstown Clean Up.”

In a letter to merchants, Lindsey described her project by writing: "many of you may remember me from last spring when I organized many of my friends and fellow students to help clean up the downtown of Pottstown. Several Saturdays and Sundays were spent with many teenagers cleaning the downtown streets in order to help our merchants find pride in their place of business."

Lindsey’s project placed 6th in the Community Service Project category competing against 25 other teams.
Lindsey and her crew cleaning up Pottstown

That success has earned her a trip the National Competition in Utah this spring.

Unfortunately, it did not earn her the money to pay for the trip and the perennially budget-challenged Pottstown School District does not allocate the money for such enterprises. Monday night she appealed to Pottstown Borough Council for funding but they are unlikely to set that precedent.

So Lindsey is turning to the community she and her friends helped.

She needs only $1,200 to pay for her trip but the effort to raise the money has also turned into an effort to create a scholarship fund to help other high-achieving students.

That help is coming from the board of the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority, under whose watchful eye and encouragement, Lindsey and her friends cleaned up the downtown.

Sheila Dugan
"The PDIDA Board is asking you to give back what you can to help such children in our community who make a special effort to help the downtown business district," Board President Sheila Dugan wrote in an appeal to merchants.

"In your names, PDIDA would like to start a scholarship fund for such students. Lindsey spent many hours cleaning up the downtown with her friends. This is a direct and easy way for us to say 'Thank You.'

"Please find it in your heart to begin this scholarship fund as a merchant community and PDIDA will continue to do its best to get people to take pride and support us. We can make Lindsey’s trip the first of many for deserving students in Pottstown," Dugan wrote.

That letter will be delivered  Saturday afternoon, when Lindsey and Dugan will be handing out the  letter and asking for support from the merchants.

The PDIDA District Covers Most of downtown
"The experience and satisfaction of working with the PDIDA district was one I will be proud of for years to come," Lindsey wrote in her appeal. "I love Pottstown and want to continue taking pride in the town where I grow up. The expense of going to nationals is not very large, but more than I can afford on my own. I am asking for your support now in the form of a donation to offset the cost of travel and hotel stay."

Dugan told The Digital Notebook staff the scholarship will be only for students who have a direct connection to the businesses in the downtown. "Anyone is welcome to help in adding to the scholarship fund. $1 from a lot of merchants and the community will add up quickly! With budget cuts at the schools, we feel this will be a great way for our merchants to give back," she wrote.

The thing is, time is short folks. The money needs to be raised by March 28, so time of the essence.

The PDIDA office, 17 N. Hanover St.
Donations can be sent to the PDIDA Office at 17 N Hanover St. before the 28th of March.

If in the midst of this, you've been asking yourself, "just what the heck is DECA anyway?" You're not alone.

It is apparently an acronym for  Distributive Education Clubs of America, although finding that information on the organization's web site proved nigh impossible (thank you Google).

But there was lots of other good information to be found there.

For instance, apparently 90 percent of DECA members plan to further studies in marketing, finance, hospitality and business management, or to become entrepreneurs.

Further, 86 percent of DECA members report an A or B average and 50 percent are obtaining career experience through employment.

DECA Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit student organization with members in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The United States Congress, the United States Department of Education and state and international departments of education authorize DECA’s programs. 

The Pottstown High School DECA Club in Hershey
DECA is organized into two unique student divisions each with programs designed to address the learning styles, interest and focus of its members. The High School Division includes 185,000 members in 5,000 schools. The Collegiate Division (formerly known as Delta Epsilon Chi) includes over 15,000 members in 200 colleges and universities.

This conference will not end Lindsey's association with DECA.

In addition to winning Sixth Place in Hershey, Lindsey was also the Pottstown High School Voting Delegate for the PA DECA Officer Elections for the 2012-13 school year.

She will be representing Pottstown High School as the Pennsylvania District 8 Representative on the Pennsylvania DECA Board for the 2012-13 school year.



  1. I was in DECA and Delta Epsilon Chi in college and successfully competed in MANY National Conventions, most of which was funded through donations. I'm happy to support you in your efforts and will be sending a check today!

    Kelli Jones

  2. "Dugan told The Digital Notebook staff ..."

    You got a staff for this, Brandt? Now I AM impressed. Thanks for promoting Lindsey's need. Regards,

    Joe Zlomek, The Sanatoga Post

  3. @Kelli Jones: That's great. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

    @Joe Zlomek: A huge staff! I hate doing all that payroll paperwork...