LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- DECA is a popular student leadership organization in high schools in the Kansas City region. Members are focused on preparing for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, management and entrepreneurship. In Kansas, there are about 1,200 members of DECA in 50 different high school chapters. And its president is this week’s FOX 4 Reaching 4 Excellence Young Achiever.
At Leavenworth High School’s Homecoming assembly a couple of weeks ago it was a double duty for Alise Boal. As a varsity cheerleader, she helped get students excited about the football game and all of the activities connected to it. And as a leader of the school’s DECA chapter she had a major school and community event to announce. Alise is heading up the DECA-led student committee putting on Concert For A Cure October 8th featuring past American Idol contestant Jimmy Charles and benefiting a Leavenworth High administrator battling brain cancer and an organization that assists people like her.
“It’s definitely taught me a lot about planning, about keeping myself organized, keeping other people organized and about delegating tasks,” said Alise, this week’s FOX 4 Reaching 4 Excellence Young Achiever. Those are all valuable skills Alise is learning and mastering in marketing classes at Leavenworth High and in the school’s DECA chapter.
“Being in DECA, we make so many connections,” said Alise. “Not only do I get to be in this competitive environment and learn about business and entrepreneurship but I also get to be in this environment with all these other people who are ambitious and want the same things.” Last winter as a sophomore and long before her first year in DECA was even complete Alise set a high and ambitious goal for herself in the organization. She decided to run for state office and she set the wheels in motion.
“She is mature beyond her age, that’s for sure,” said Leavenworth High Marketing teacher and DECA chapter advisor Liz Anstine. “The confidence that she displayed, the exuberance that comes from her. Kids look up to her, even some of the older kids. We’ve got seniors going, ‘Wow! Look at that!” Anstine said Alise rode those qualities and more to victory in March to become president of Kansas DECA.
“She ran a great campaign and made a lot of connections at the state competition,” said Anstine. “There were about 1,000 students there and she really reached out. And she’s a genuine person and they knew that. She is constantly pushing herself for excellence. She’s not waiting for me to do it. She knows how to be accountable. She’s extremely involved. And she’s going to follow through. She is articulate. And very dependable.
“[Being Kansas DECA president is] pretty cool,” said Alise. “It’s a lot of fun. It is a little bit of work but…”
“A little bit of work?” asks a reporter in mock surprise.
“It’s a little bit of work,” laughs Alise. “But it’s really worth it.” As president of Kansas DECA Alise has taken on big, time-consuming responsibilities connecting with DECA chapters all over the state. They are responsibilities that will keep her far busier through next spring than most high school students. And Alise is determined to make an impact and leave a legacy.
“I think one thing I contribute is just my passion for [DECA],” said Alise. “And I think I just bring some good ideas, some leadership qualities, especially on these big projects that we’re trying to complete, just really understanding people, knowing where they’re coming from and working with them.” Cheer on the leader to more victories.
Concert For A Cure will also serve as Alise’s project for DECA competitions this year. The concert is Saturday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. at Pioneer Stadium at Leavenworth High School. It benefits school assistant principal Theresa Carroll who is battling brain cancer and the Be Head Strong Foundation which helps improve the quality of life for those affected by brain cancer. The cost is $20 for one ticket or $30 for one ticket and an event T-shirt. Call 913-684-1550 or contact Liz.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to purchases tickets.
FOX 4 News is Working 4 You to spotlight outstanding young people and their positive accomplishments. In our weekly report called Reaching 4 Excellence we meet young achievers in subjects like academics, the arts, leadership, community service, volunteerism, career exploration, overcoming obstacles and heroism. Watch for Reaching 4 Excellence every Wednesday on FOX 4 News at 9 p.m. and every Thursday on FOX 4 News at 8 a.m. and noon.