By Ben Gardner, Class of 2020
Right before Christmas break, I, along with 42 other KHS DECA students, had the opportunity to explore San Francisco for a DECA Leadership trip. This DECA trip was an amazing learning experience that offered students the chance to visit five college campuses, participate in community service at Glide Ministries, interact and learn from professionals in nine various businesses, and visit the historical Alcatraz National Park.
One of the biggest takeaways for me from this trip was our community service experience at Glide Ministries. Glide Ministries is a soup kitchen providing meals and aid to all who are in need in San Francisco. Each of us was tasked with waiting tables, hosting, creating hot cocoa gifts, preparing food, bussing tables, and cleaning dishes. While participating in these tasks, we all had the opportunity to converse with the guests and learned valuable life lessons. I realized that the homeless population was misjudged by many – they are people like us, they are just in need of help.
The most beneficial part of the trip was the college visits led by Mrs. Fairchild, the King’s High School College Counselor. Mrs. Fairchild led us students on visits through Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of San Francisco, Saint Mary’s, and Santa Clara. On each campus, she would give an in-depth and realistic tour of the school. These tours proved to be very beneficial as we got to see the college campuses and Mrs. Fairchild was able to provide us with honest and relevant information regarding the schools.
Lastly, one huge realization of most students on this trip was that San Francisco is quite literally a “hilly” city. Each student averaged a total of 18,000 steps and 10 miles a day… in business casual shoes. The blisters were definitely worth it, as we were able to see almost the entire city and gain valuable business knowledge in just 4 days! It can be said that this was a successful and exhilarating trip!