Today's Kindness #373: August 8, 2023
In our quest to show you people who want to promote good in the world, we head to the student business world of DECA!
As a state officer for Colorado DECA, the school year is settling in and I want to encourage you to take part in a great organization that will prepare you for the business world. It will teach you about business management & administration, entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality & tourism, and marketing. Of course, I am talking about DECA.
I sat down with the National High School Division President of DECA, Alex Ellsworth.
Alex Ellsworth is a four-year DECA member born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Serving as the High School Division President, Alex strives for all members to use their passion for DECA to take real action for their chapters and associations. She aims to make an impact by helping associations grow all DECA members' leadership, membership, recognition, engagement, and enthusiasm. Previously, Alex served as a two-time Nevada DECA association officer as President and Vice President of Leadership. Her favorite quote is, "Leadership is not positional" because one's impact isn't defined by the title one holds. Alex will attend the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she will pursue degrees in hospitality and international business. When not using her passion for taking action, Alex enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and trying as many restaurants as possible.
1. With every interview that we do, we always ask, "What is a recent random act of kindness you have read, seen, or experienced?"
- "I'm a receptionist at a cosmetology and esthetician school, and we have a lot of instructors that work either the day shift or the night shift. But there's this one instructor, her name is Ms. Crystal. She always comes in before her contracted hours to hold the door open for all the students. All the students have suitcases and their mannequins, a large number of items they need to bring in for beauty school, and she's not even clocked in yet or making any money for the time that she comes in, but she's always the first one there, just so she can hold the door open for everybody and just say hi and be very welcoming. I love seeing her every day. I think that her act of kindness just sets those students up for success for the day, and she doesn't have to do that. You know, she doesn't get paid for it."
2. How does kindness impact a whole community, especially in DECA?
- "Kindness is purely energy. Anything that you put out into the world is energy, it's the most important factor because when you put out positive energy, you put out that kindness. It reflects on all those around you because, especially in DECA, We're all here for the same thing in an essence. We're here to get something out of the competition. We're here to gain leadership skills, we're all here for the same reasons. But the biggest part of DECA is the fact that we're a big community, and kindness is a big key to that community. And when you are kind to people, you put out positive energy. I think that just impacts a full community because kind people really do change the world."
3. How does kindness impact your leadership and what you do?
- "Kindness is absolutely the most important part of leadership, I feel, because absolutely, the work has to get done and things have to be organized, and priorities have to be made, but kindness is the most important factor. When you have a quality team, and you're leading effectively in the sense of the kindness that you put out to those you're leading and to those you're working with. It impacts the entirety of your work. Mm-hmm. Because when you enjoy who you're working with, and you're being optimistic, and you're being kind to those around you, the work gets done that much better. The work gets done with a sense of passion rather than just, "Oh, this is another assignment I have to complete." When you're leading others, you have to lead with kindness because things won't be done in the same light if it's not done that way."
4. Who is someone you look up to as a kindness role model and why?
- "I know I'm very biased, but I would have to say my mom. My mom is probably one of the most selfless people I've ever met. She just puts others before herself. Sometimes a little too much. I try to get her to do it a little less, but she's just so kind and caring, and no matter who she meets, she never reads a book by its cover. She judges everybody the same as a quality human being, and she treats everybody so beautifully, regardless of how they treat her. I think that putting that kindness out to the world, even when she's not getting it reciprocated back to her, is something that not many people can do. Usually, when someone receives negative energy, they reciprocate that back, but my mom's not like that. She's just always kind and sweet, no matter who she's talking to or who she's with."
5. What are some of your favorite things about DECA?
- "There are too many, honestly, but I think my pure favorite part of being in DECA would have to be the community. Because as mentioned before, we're here for the same reasons. We're here to get a lot out of this organization and to pass on the love we have for it to other people. But the beauty of this community is, even though we're all here for the same reasons, we're so different. We all come from different families, different ethnic backgrounds, and different associations, but at the end of the day, we're all here spreading that same passion and energy that we have for the organization, and it just creates this big sense of community that I wholeheartedly have not been able to find anywhere else. DECA has just given me this sense of community. Everyone is just so passionate, so many like-minded individuals around me, and it's just so beautiful to see us all working towards the same thing even though we all come from different places and different backgrounds and we all have different ideas. Just that community, I think stands out the absolute most within DECA, and I've just been so happy to be a part of it and to be a witness of it."
Thank you to Alex for sitting down with me today to talk about the power of kindness in DECA!
To learn more about DECA, head to deca.org and check out information on competitions, officers, and what is taught in the DECA curriculum.
Talk to your counselor or your CTE Director to ask about joining your school's DECA chapter.
"A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees."
~ Amelia Earhart