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Mara Parker - President
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Abhi Patel, a junior from Lake Park High School, is honored to represent his accomplished DECA peers and by serving as an Illinois DECA State Officer. Now entering his third year as a member of the DECA family, Abhi looks back with nostalgia when thinking back to his humble beginnings as a Freshman DECA member and is proud of how far he has come. It seems like it was only recently that he walked into his first role play, dressed in an iron pressed suit at Sectionals, ready to crush the task at hand… Although one could say that Abhi ‘took an L’ after his first encounter, Abhi was inspired by the success of those around him. As a sophomore, the following year consisted of a new level of involvement in DECA as Abhi polished his skills ahead of the competition season. Ultimately, Abhi ended up placing at CDC and went on to represent Illinois at ICDC in Orlando. This year Abhi hopes to get glass on stage and have a blast in Music City.
Abhi’s current contributions to taking his school’s DECA chapter to the next level involves independently proposing and planning a program where qualified high school DECA members would go to the local middle school to teach the students about the basics of business. This unique career development campaign is expected to exponentially increase new member enrollment at his high school. Abhi hopes to share his experience with this model with other high schools across Illinois in an attempt to boost DECA enrollment, with special regard taken in fostering underclassmen participation. In fact, Abhi especially applauds new DECA members who have taken the initiative to take a step into their future as citizens in an increasingly economics oriented world. Abhi looks forward to going into a career centered around Business Management with a strong background in Finance and is forever grateful to DECA for introducing him to a career for which he holds immense passion.
Besides his involvement in DECA, Abhi is a fierce competitor on his school’s Math Team and definitely lives up to his de facto title as a NERD. He is also a member of the Spanish National Honor Society for its role in promoting multicultural diversity. Abhi grew up fluent in Gujarati and English and is now endeavoring to master Spanish and Hindi. Outside of school, he enjoys bowling and visiting new places around the country.
More than anything, Abhi is indebted to the contributions that his family, advisors, peers, and DECA community have made to his ability to thrive as a proud DECA member, but more importantly as an individual. Abhi cannot wait to bring his ideas for the growth of Illinois DECA to the State Action Team so that we can show the international DECA community that Illinois is ready to say ‘Here We Go!’