Wilson leads by example as DECA state president 

Jonathan Wilson embraced being a DECA member throughout his high school experience at Lakes High School. 

“I joined DECA and struggled my first year — but sticking with it was one of the best decisions of my life,” Jonathan said. 

After placing in an event at the state-level conference as a sophomore, Jonathan traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to compete at the international conference. Now, he is finishing up his senior year serving as the Washington DECA state president. 

“At my first international conference, I really saw what DECA was all about, just the scale of it and the positive impact it had on people,” Jonathan said. 

DECA is a student organization established to prepare student leaders in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Students use knowledge and problem-solving skills to work through business-like scenarios. 

Serving as the Lakes DECA chapter president last year, Jonathan’s ambition grew along with his fondness for DECA. He eventually set his sights on serving as the state president and, after campaigning, he was elected last March. 

“Jonathan evolved from just being a DECA member into a strong leader,” said Lakes DECA advisor Randy Wilson. “He takes initiative, leads others by example and sincerely takes interest in other students.” 

As the state president, Jonathan is one of 12 servant leaders on the Washington DECA state officer team this year. His primary role is to lead the other officers, help organize and run events and visit high schools around the state to talk to students about the DECA program. He has visited 30 schools so far this year as state president. 

Jonathan credits his desire to serve to his younger brother Jacobi. A freshman at Lakes, Jacobi has autism and is unable to speak. Jonathan grew up speaking for him and looking after him. 

“I didn’t think I had the courage to be a leader,” Jonathan said. “I thought leaders had to be domineering but I realized I have been a servant leader for Jacobi my entire life.”

DECA State President Jonathan Wilson