DECA is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) student organization in high schools and colleges around the globe that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. While the mission of this co-curricular organization is to provide opportunities for students to become college and career ready, during the holiday season Turner Ashby DECA focuses on the importance of giving back to the community through its annual “Angel Tree Project”.
This year, under the leadership of Natalie Helmick, the DECA Vice President of Civic Consciousness; Katrina Martin, a senior DECA member; and DECA Advisor, Melissa Talley the students, faculty, and community of Turner Ashby High School rallied to sponsor 200 children in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County area that needed items such as coats, shoes, toys, and personal hygiene items. On December 2, 2015 the Marketing classroom was transformed into “Santa’s Workshop” in an effort to wrap, label, and organize more than 600 gifts for the children. On December 4, 2015, eighteen Turner Ashby students and four teachers transported the gifts to Harrisonburg/Rockingham Department of Social Services using two school busses.
In addition to providing gifts for the children, DECA also collected an estimated $1,500 worth of non-perishable food and personal hygiene items that will benefit local elderly citizens in need. In total, more than 360 hours of service to the community were performed by Turner Ashby students to make this school-wide project such a success.
“It’s been a rewarding experience. I was very proud of the response from our school and community with how much time and effort they put into this project. Everyone rallied behind such a great cause. Definitely a life learning experience.” Helmick said while looking back at the project’s success.
(At left) Click to take a look around Santa's Turner Ashby workshop!