Friday, April 14, 2017

Windham High student wins chance for DECA National Competitions second year in a row by Lorraine Glowczak

Taylor Rickett, a senior at Windham High School, who also attends Portland Arts & Technology High School’s (PATHS) Fashioning and Marketing Program, won the state Delta Epsilon Chi Distributive Education (DECA) leadership competition for a second time; winning first place last year as well. She and her team member, Zahra Abukar, will go to the DECA National Competitions in Anaheim, California on April 25 - 30.
Congratulations to Taylor Rickett

Rickett, who has been attending PATHS for two years, belongs to DECA along with the rest of her class.

DECA, founded in 1946, prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. The state leadership conference, held in South Portland on March 3, is where Rickett and her team partner presented their community service project that benefits the Portland School District’s “Make it Happen” Program, a college readiness program that helps multilingual students with academic and language support.
“I have always been interested in fashion since I was a little girl,” Rickett explained. As a result, she has combined her love of fashion with serving the community in positive ways. Leading the way, she and her PATHS classmates, applied for a grant receiving $490 that helped finance the t-shirt she designed that placed her in the number one spot at the state competition. The funds from the sale of the t-shirt go towards the “Make it Happen” program.   

Although Rickett won first place in the state competition last year, she was unable to compete at the national event due to lack of funds. “We just couldn't raise the money to go to Nationals last year,” explained Jane Krasnow, PATHS fashion teacher. “But since Zahra and Taylor both were winners last year, we are bound and determined to go at the end of the month, as this is their last year in the program.”

As a result, Rickett, Abukar and other DECA members are doing their best to raise the funds needed through spaghetti dinners, silent actions and fashions shows.

“Since I could not go to nationals last year, I feel like I might have missed out on making my community service get out there more,” Rickett explained. “Also, if I got to go to nationals last year I could have come back to help other students prepare for nationals [this year.]”

The trip to the competition in California is expensive, costing $1,100 per student. Therefore, Krasnow is helping her students raise funds - through a GoFundMe account that she has set up in their honor.

Rickett’s future plans include attending Southern New Hampshire University for four years to become a fashion stylist.  “After college, I will go to New York City and live there to pursue my dream,” Rickett said.

Although this will be her last year at both PATHS and Windham High School, Rickett will be fondly remembered by those whose lives she has touched as she leaves and lives out her dreams in the Big Apple. 

“Taylor is such a promising young woman; one I will never forget.” Krasnow said.

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