Community Involvement

Students at an intern opportunity

DECA's Community Involvement Office helps navigate students to and through the steps to meet the standards set out in our Gateway System.  Our Community Involvement Specialist will help you find placements.

 Each student is responsible to be in touch with our specialist and make sure they are on track to pass each gateway in turn.  Contact: for any questions.   

Office of Community Involvement

Students at DECA are required to fulfill a variety of community involvement activities, including participating in 100 hours of community service, fulfilling three job shadows and completing two outside internships prior to graduating. These activities have been established to create a link between school and community, as well as between abstract academic content and real world experiences.

One important DECA philosophy is that a high school education should prepare students to respond to the world. Integrating community service, job shadows and internships into the curriculum is a valued step in that direction.

All community involvement is directed by DECA’s Office of Community Involvement. Using staff, parents, and community resources, DECA’s task is to build sustainable partnerships with community sponsors to accomplish our objectives.

Community Service

DECA partners with a wide variety of organizations and businesses to provide our students with community service opportunities that are mutually beneficial. Students are required to fulfill 100 hours of community service, and these hours are typically fulfilled in the first two to three years at DECA.

Starting with group community service projects in the fall of their ninth grade year, students are expected to take full personal responsibility for the vast majority of their hours. Students work with a broad range of non-profit organizations, city and county agencies, churches and other faith-based groups and record and document their experiences through DECA’s Office of Community Involvement.  

Job Shadows and Internships

Business casual outfits to help teens know the expectations

DECA continues its community involvement partnerships through our job shadow and internship programs. All DECA students are required to participate in three job shadows and two internships prior to graduating.

Job shadows consist of on-site visits to businesses or organizations, typically for a half or full day. Ideally, these job shadows are aligned with a field of study and career path that the student is interested in learning more about.  

Students are expected to dress in business casual when visiting a profession:  Preferably NO torn jeans, NO hoodies, NO short skirts, NO slides.  Click on the image to review what "Business Casual" looks like.  

Internships are a more in-depth opportunity for students to learn about a field that interests them by spending roughly 40 experiential hours on site with a professional in the field of interest. 

Job shadows and internships culminate in written reflections of the experience and the students’ evaluation of the field and what they have learned about it.


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For the Community Service Contract

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For a list of recommended Community Service Sites

Summer Opportunities