DECA students reach out to military with NE’s Got Your 6

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NE’s Got your 6 from Bellevue Video Yearbook on Vimeo.

The morning started off warm for a November day. Banners stretched across a red truck. Miss Nebraska Teen took her place on the back of the pickup truck reserved solely for her. Surrounding the truck, DECA students were armed with fliers and candy. The truck started to roll initiating the start of seniors Jaycee Stephens and Kate Radosta’s first “NE’s got your 6” promotional event.

The seniors’ “NE’s got your 6” project stems from DECA, in which they are competing in a public relations category. Marketing director Dave Shillinglaw stresses for students to have variety in who is working on projects, (usually groups of 3), so the seniors picked junior Cole Patterson as their third member.

“We’re both from military families so we chose to do ‘Got your 6’,” Stephens said.
Patterson also has family members in the military.

“I honestly didn’t think they would pick me as their junior, but I got excited when I heard about what our project was,” Patterson said.
Radosta explained what “Got Your 6” actually means.

“‘Got Your 6” is a military term meaning ‘got your back.’ If you were telling directions on an analog clock face, 12 would be in front of you, and 6 would be behind you–the side you can’t see. Therefore if someone says they have your 6, they got your back,” Radosta said.

For the project, the students marched in the Veteran’s Day parade in Bellevue. Their red truck was surrounded by marching Bellevue East and West ROTC. In order to get a crowd to attend their second event that evening, they handed out fliers at the parade. They promoted their project using social media and video blogging as well.

The night held a more somber mood compared to that morning, as family and friends of military members gathered in the cold to remember those who have served.

“We had a candle vigil on the pedestrian bridge where we had people come and give a donation for a candle. We lit the candles and had a moment of silence for our veterans. The money that we raised from the donations from the candles and hot chocolate are going to be made into a scholarship,” Radosta said.

Stephens added that the scholarship would go to a future military member from Bellevue West.

Stephens and Radosta hope to make it to the DECA International Career Development Conference, or “DECA nationals,” with this project.

“You get to Nationals by making the top 3 at state. Nationals are in Anaheim, CA., so it’s a really competitive category,” Stephens said.

Though the seniors have a competitive drive, they haven’t lost sight of what they’re really trying to advocate in the community.

“The main goal of our project is to raise awareness of men and women in the military in our community, and the many programs that support them as veterans. We want them to know that Nebraska’s got their 6,” Radosta said.

Bri Thomas
Videographer and West Wind News Editor