DECA Spreads Awareness with Chronic Illness Campaign


DECA’s chronic illness awareness campaign logo.

Emma Vann and Carly Hall

Preparing emerging marketing, finance, hospitality and management leaders, the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) gives students hands-on experience. Last year’s trip to Virginia Beach for DECA States let only select, qualified students present their projects, and at their home base, they run the school store.

Alongside the club’s sponsor, business and marketing teacher Leesa Bell, seniors Maddy Helm, Amy Wood and Elise Bowen are broadening DECA’s influence with their project mission.

“We really just want to bring awareness to all chronic illnesses and be able to show Valley’s support for the causes,” Helm said.

Inspiration for the awareness project came from vice president of community service Elise Bowen. Bowen is involved with an association called Brainy Camps, a sleepaway camp for children, teenagers and young adults with chronic health conditions. She pitched the idea for chronic illness awareness to Wood and Helm.

“We both thought that it would be a really good idea and a good awareness project,” Helm said.

DECA’s first chronic illness awareness campaign was for epilepsy.

“I thought it went really well,” Helm said. “ I saw a lot of people wearing purple and I thought that a lot of it was due to the recent passing of Colette Baine. I think a lot of people really wanted to show their support.”

Carly Hall