DECA LDA: Strengthening Leaders of the Future

Thursday, June 17, 2021
by Mayumi C. - High School student

Why participating in the DECA LDA made me a better person

Photo of Mayumi
As someone with a curious personality, I’ve always wanted to experience what it would be like to enhance my knowledge in leadership and business with others who think alike. I can assure you that the DECA Leadership Development Academy (LDA) Conference gave me the perfect opportunity to do so. Throughout the conference, I was able to learn about sales skills, leadership, student venture and student investment funds, what it’s like to compete in competitions, as well as what it means to be a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

At a time where I started high school during a pandemic, my life started to revolve around technology. Meeting new people in an online event made me anxious, but presenters Sherri Dickie, who is one of the DECA Ontario Board of Directors, and Laveen Jose, who is a Student Recruiter at Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario), made it worthwhile. Both presentations helped me grow in my ability to cooperate and gain more knowledge towards the lives of professionals.

I learned so much from all presenters, but Sherri’s presentation about sales skills stood out to me the most. Firstly, I love seeing women shine. Being a young woman myself, I want to be able to lead and excel in areas where men tend to make up the vast majority. I understand the importance of representation, and Sherri definitely stood out as an inspiration for young women like myself who desire to acquire a profession where men are dominant. Also, I absolutely enjoyed the interactive activity where I had the freedom to share my ideas and talk to my peers. I love working with individuals who have the same curiosity and ambition. Sherri’s presentation allowed me to take leadership within my team and share the creative ideas I have to offer. 

These days, I ask myself: “Do people my age genuinely have their futures set in stone?” I’ve talked to other high school students like myself and I found that most of us have undecided futures, for now. It is challenging to pave a clear path but attending the DECA LDA made my decisions more concrete. Sherri’s workshop made me realize that I want to obtain sales skills to confidently help and communicate to people. Laveen also marketed CPA Ontario so impactfully that now, I’m considering becoming a CPA. Participating in the DECA LDA opened my eyes to the vast opportunities the world of leadership and business has to offer and ultimately, helped me strengthen my future. 

DECA LDA has been a wonderful experience to help my professional and personal growth and I look forward to seeing what it has in store in the coming years!