Lake View Students Brighten Children's Holiday Hospital Stays

December 6, 2017

The Lake View High School DECA chapter recently decorated the atrium of the Shannon Women’s and Children’s hospital for Christmas as part of a community service project.

The project was the brainchild of Lake View students Emily Hahn and Roselani Martinez who said that they wanted to do something special for children this year. With the thought of helping children in mind, the two girls came up with the idea to do something special at Shannon Medical Center. With the holiday season approaching, and knowing that children would have to spend Christmas in the hospital, they felt compelled to make their stay a little brighter.

The girls thought of several ideas, from decorating children's rooms, to a toy drive, to delivering gifts on Christmas day. However, after talking to Tiffany Shaffer, the director of pediatrics at Shannon, the idea was born to decorate the outdoor atrium of the hospital so that everyone at the Women’s and Children’s center would be able to enjoy it during the holiday season.

What had started off as a small idea by two students, had turned into a chapter-wide community service project. Each year, the Lake View DECA program comes up with a service project where they can put their time and efforts into helping support the community in a positive way, and this project seemed like the perfect fit.

DECA called on the help of the Lake View woodshop, welding classes, and theatre department to help create props, paint boxes and build a fireplace. They also solicited donations in order to purchase the materials that they would need. The whole Lake View community pulled together to make this project happen.

"I am so proud of these kids for giving so much of themselves and dedicating so much time to this project," said DECA advisor Jennifer Urbanek. "With their efforts, we hope to brighten the holiday season for those children and their families that must spend Christmas in the hospital."

DECA is an international association of high school and college students that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. The organization builds leaders through community service projects, school activity involvement and competition on the local, state and national level. With a 70+ year history, DECA has impacted the lives of more than ten million students, educators, school administrators and business professionals since it was founded in 1946. DECA activities provide authentic, experiential learning methods to prepare members for college and careers. DECA members put their knowledge into action through rigorous project-based activities that require creative solutions with practical outcomes.

In Urbanek's 12 years as Lake View DECA advisor, the chapter has advanced students to the state competition every year and has produced International Qualifiers for the past 4 years in a row. The International Career and Development competition is in Atlanta, GA this year and Urbanek and her students are hopeful to take this community service project all the way to that International level.