Monday, April 4, 2016

Achieving the Impossible: Gabe's Journey from Early Intervention to the International DECA Competition

Achieving the Impossible!

Gabe's  Journey from Early Intervention to the International DECA Competition.

Gabe has achieved the impossible.  He placed 4th at the DECA state competition in Columbus and qualified to compete in the International DECA competition in Nashville at the end of April.  He is spending hours studying and practicing to prepare for this competition.  This is his dream.  Competing with other top DECA students.

Please consider helping with the cost of spending almost a full week in Nashville.  I installed a PayPal donate button on this blog.  I wish we could absorb the cost without a problem but reality is we can't.  Any help with the cost would be appreciated.  If we raise more money than Gabe needs, it will be donated to USHS DECA for future students to use.  No student should miss the opportunity to compete due to lack of funds.  I hate fundraising but we are the working poor and not part of the 1%.

For those who do not realize just how fantastic and amazing Gabe is.....

Spring 2001, our lives fell apart and my dreams for Gabe's future faded when we decided to have him tested for autism.  At two years old, he had just started a half day Early Intervention program.  He didn't talk and his behaviors were concerning.  What worked with his older brother didn't work with him.  After his diagnosis was confirmed, we didn't take anything for granted including whether Gabe would graduate from high school with his peers.

This concern was confirmed when Gabe's school at the time tried to convince us that he needed to repeat Kindergarten.  We resisted and Gabe continued to 1st grade with his peers.  When we moved to Upper Sandusky before his 2nd grade year, Gabe was just beginning to communicate but he could not read or do math.  I remember one professional warning that he may never understand money or mathematics.  I remember being warned he might not be able to live on his own- ever.  There were no guarantees.

Gabe has proven everyone wrong.  He has even proven his most ardent supporters wrong.  Gabe pushes himself much further than I like.  He insisted on taking college classes his junior year and doubled up for the fall semester of his senior year while playing football, wrestling and running track.  Gabe found a way to take DECA for the sole reason of these competitions.  He is even already admitted to BGSU and the BGSU College of Business for next year.

One of the goals he mention was to become Chairman of the Federal Reserve.  He just might do it.  Or, he might solve our national financial problems and eliminate the federal government's black budget.

Here is a description of the goal of DECA from its website

As an integral part of the classroom curriculum, DECA’s industry-validated competitive events are aligned with the National Curriculum Standards in the career clusters of marketing, business management and administration, finance, and hospitality and tourism. DECA’s flagship evaluation process involves students in both a written component such as an exam or report and an interactive component with an industry professional serving as a judge. DECA’s competitive events directly contribute to every student being college and career ready when they graduate from high school.

1 participant
Business Administration Core
1 content interview; 2nd for finalists
10 minutes
10 minutes