When I look back at my own education, I am grateful to the adults who opened doors of opportunity for me. At the time, I just knew them as people I looked up to; today I understand these inspiring people were my mentors.

These AT&T employees have changed the lives of my students; much like my mentors changed my life so many years ago.

My high school DECA advisor was one of those mentors who had a profound influence on my life. The leadership development skills and positive adult relationships I experienced through DECA led me to a career in education. As a high school marketing teacher and DECA advisor now, I want to facilitate similar experiences for my students. DECA* allows my students, and students across the country, to receive the personal mentorship they need to improve key skills required to become future leaders in marketing, finance and hospitality. The commitment by AT&T employees to be mentors, through AT&T’s Aspire Mentoring Academy, has given my students access to doors of opportunity I could only wish to provide on my own. These AT&T employees have changed the lives of my students; much like my mentors changed my life so many years ago.

Check out this video to see how my and other students have grown because of their experience with DECA:

I would like to thank every AT&T employee who has volunteered their time through Aspire Mentoring Academy and I congratulate them on achieving the 1 million hours of mentoring milestone. My students are looking forward to a million more!

* DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe

About the Author

Nicole Champion

DECA Advisor

nicole_champion

Nicole Champion is a veteran marketing teacher and DECA Advisor at Banneker High School in Fulton County, GA. As a high school student, Nicole was an active member of her high school DECA chapter and served as president of the chapter. She was the first DECA Advisor engaged in the #DECAATTProject that began in January 2015, and has served as a mentor for other DECA Advisors as the project grew.

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