TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Two Terre Haute South High School seniors recently won a statewide competition and will soon compete internationally as they continue to focus on promoting organ donation.
Micah Huckaby and Landrie Flack took first place in the Community Giving category of the 2022 Indiana DECA State Career Development Conference. DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, their programs aim to prepare high school and college students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
As part of their project, Huckaby and Flack planned and executed a host of special events throughout Vigo County during the school year to raise awareness about how organ donation saves lives.
“It was definitely nice to be able to share the actual facts and be able to show everybody what the Indiana Donor Network actually does,” said Huckaby. “(to show them) what being an organ donor actually means versus what they believe it means.”
“We hosted ‘Dodge for Donors,’ a dodgeball tournament that had seven teams compete,” Huckaby said. “We shared information about donation and transplantation with students and their parents. We were able to do the same at two of our school’s boys basketball games.”
They coordinated two engaging speaking events at their school. In one, a Vigo County man shared how his son’s organ donations saved lives. Another featured an Indiana Donor Network educator who shared facts and fielded students’ questions about donation and transplantation.
“They asked great questions and our conversations really gave them something to think about,” said Corinne Osinski‑Carey, a community outreach coordinator.
As part of their activism, the duo even organized and administered a student body survey. They asked their peers how they feel about organ donation, and tested how much they know about the topic.
For Huckaby, the cause of organ donation is an especially personal one. “My uncle just recently received a heart transplant in December of 2020,” said Huckaby. “He had been on the transplant list for three years so the Indiana Donor Network really did a lot for our family, really did a lot for him.”
According to the Indiana Donor Network, Huckaby and Flack have so far raised nearly $3,400 in support of the network and Donate Life Indiana.
“We’ve been involved with DECA since we were freshmen,” Flack said. “We’ve done a lot of volunteering and presenting at major events. This year, our senior year, we’ve been very active.”
They chose to educate their Vigo County community about organ donation through DECA because both have a personal connection with organ transplantation. Huckaby’s uncle received a lifesaving heart transplant in 2020 after being on the waiting list for three years. Flack’s brother suffers from a degenerative eye disease and may need corneal transplants in the future.
For Flack, the experience of doing the project has been a memorable one. “I learned a lot,” said Flack. “Especially that our community loves to give back. It was awesome working with everyone and getting all the opportunities that we had.”
Next up the duo will compete in the DECA International Career Development Conference in Atlanta where they will put their program up against the efforts of more than 70 teams from around the world.
After graduation, Huckaby will attend Purdue University and study to become a pharmacist while Flack will attend Indiana State University and study business.