BROOKSVILLE — Central High School junior Kasey Kupcik is vice president of her school's DECA organization. She is also the newly elected state DECA president.
Her selection was announced at the recent DECA State Career Development Conference. It wasn't easy getting there. She had to campaign at the conference, and that required money and effort. But she was determined.
"I saw what you can do at the local level, and I wanted to 'aspire higher,' " she said, using the national slogan for DECA, an organization for students interested in business careers.
She used her personal "I'm the DECA difference" slogan for her campaign and handed out sunglasses, pencils, cups and temporary tattoos at her booth. She also offered T-shirts that read "I'm a DECA ______" and provided markers to fill in the blanks with suggested words like "believer," "enthusiast," "achiever" and "visionary."
"And a big banner, big, big, big banner," said fellow DECA member and supporter senior Maria Tejeda.
Kasey funded her state campaign with donations, two garage sales and a carwash, with help from her friends.
"I got donations from a lot of nice businesses," she said. "I raised $1,500."
As the state's top officer, Kasey will work with the vice presidents to create what she called the program of work. It consists of categories at which chapters work to better themselves. Examples are academics, community service, professional responsibility and leadership.
"We create activities to do under each category," Kasey said.
Schools can participate to achieve gold level membership, state recognition and plaques.
Another duty will be travel to other schools.
"I did eight last year, and I intend to do more this year because it's the best part of being a state officer," she said.
DECA, Kasey said, has done a lot for her.
"It's definitely gotten me out of my shell," she said. "DECA got me to be very outgoing. It also gave me a great work ethic and it gave me experience. It gave me the greatest moments of my life so far."
Kasey is currently ranked third in her class, with a 4.3 grade-point average, and hopes someday to be a business administration lawyer. She is the daughter of Jeannine and Tom Kupcik of Spring Hill.