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Kate Zhao

Vice President of Philanthropy

Kate Zhao is a four-year DECA member and senior at Naperville North High School. She is absolutely ecstatic to be bringing her passion and love of DECA to Illinois as part of the State Action Team! 

Initially, Kate joined DECA with no clear direction about what she was interested in. Freshman year, she spun a wheel to pick an event and ended up competing in the Business Law and Ethics Team Decision Making event, but was soon drawn to Hospitality Services instead–which took her to ICDC two years in a row. DECA has shaped Kate into the leader that she is today, pushing her to engage with her peers with a new lens. She has developed a love of making connections inside and outside of DECA, learning new social-emotional skills, and building upon her past to foster a successful future. 

At Naperville North, Kate proudly serves as the Vice President of Administration, where she seeks to interact with as many members as she possibly can. She works closely with a team of amazing peers and mentors to foster growth and passion at her school’s chapter. In her four years as a DECA member, Kate has made countless memories that have defined her high school years, and she hopes to demonstrate to her peers that taking advantage of the opportunities that DECA provides can bring them a new source of joy. As part of the State Action Team, Kate hopes to be able to expand the communication and outreach capabilities of Illinois DECA. Her goals include setting up a program to allow members to reach State Officers with questions, increasing membership and participation, and empowering individual chapters throughout Illinois. She wants DECA to be a source of learning, excitement, and memories; and for everyone to Experience the Difference! 

Kate strives to expand her skills through a variety of interests and serves as the Editor in Chief of the NNHS Yearbook, Executive Editor of Vertigo Literary and Art Magazine, and co-President of Biology Club. She is also involved in BPA, NHS, and enjoys watching Scholastic Bowl competitions to keep score (but doesn’t quite enjoy participating in them). Outside of school, Kate volunteers at her local hospital and adores talking to patients, visitors, other volunteers, and staff. 

In her free time, Kate is absolutely enthralled by art, especially oil painting and watercolor. She enjoys sketching the people around her in coffee shops–but the habit of doing work in coffee shops feeds into her unhealthy consumption of caffeine. Currently, she is rewatching Bones for the third time, listening to lots of Phoebe Bridgers, and debriefing her day with her best friend. 


Kate Zhao
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