Nearly two years ago, Steffani McCrary joined East Central College as an academic advisor. When she got here, she brought something from her secondary education background with her.

“I thought adding DECA would be a great addition to campus,” she said. “It benefits students in so many ways.”

Missouri DECA provides services to students enrolled in Marketing and Cooperative Education programs throughout the state. DECA’s comprehensive learning program integrates into classroom instruction, applies learning, connects to business and promotes competition. It prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

“DECA provides such amazing opportunities for students,” McCrary explained. “I have seen the impact it has made on students. Since the program starts in high school, I felt that a chapter at East Central College would give students an organization of familiarity to join when they got here.”

Her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. This year, she was named one of just three “Friends of DECA” at the Missouri DECA State Career Development Conference. The special recognition is awarded to individuals for outstanding contributions to Marketing Education and/or Cooperative Career Education programs in their community.

“Steffani is extremely deserving of this award,” said Business and Industry Division Chair Richard Hudanick. “As an advisor, she is a role model. She is a tremendous help to our students and our programs.”

While McCrary is humbled by the award, she hopes it brings more awareness to the DECA program and how it can help students.

“DECA allows students to network with other students and business owners,” she said. “They can win scholarships to help pay for their education. There are many companies that prefer to hire a former DECA member over other applicants!”

The award carries the added recognition of becoming an Honorary Life Member of Missouri DECA.





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