Copperas Cove High School senior Ashley Wilson accepts the Mercy College Leadership Academy Best Speech Award at the college’s annual leadership training. Wilson also had an opportunity to tour Google and meet with various Fortune 500 company executives.

Google, Apple, Tesla, SpaceX. These company names are synonymous with business innovation. Cove High School senior Ashley Wilson sees herself among these state-of-the-art entrepreneurs within the next two decades.

Wilson, CCHS DECA chapter president and district vice president, was selected to attend the Mercy Leadership Academy at Mercy College in New York City. Eligible students had to be entering their senior year, have a cumulative, weighted minimum GPA of 3.5 on 4.0 scale as well as a passion for public speaking and seeking a career in business. Viable candidates must also demonstrate leadership in extra-curricular activities.

CCHS Marketing and Co-op teacher Charlotte Heinze who also serves as the advisor of DECA nominated Wilson to attend the elite business leadership academy. At the Mercy Leadership Academy, Wilson participated in active learning lessons let by faculty and leaders from top Fortune 500 companies and Mercy College professors. Topics included Career Mindset, Four Leadership Archetypes, Personal Branding, Careers in Finance, Careers in Accounting and Careers in Marketing. But the highlight of the trip for Wilson was a personal tour of the Google Corporation.

“During my visit, I was able to see how a successful business is run and the environment that their employees work in,” Wilson said. “I was able to learn valuable life lessons and expanded my knowledge in marketing, entrepreneurship, and leadership.”

Mercy College provided the room and board, train tickets and tour of Google. The goal and purpose behind the academy is to help upcoming seniors interested in the field of business and marketing to further their education in business and leadership.

“The Mercy College Leadership Academy pushed me to step out of my comfort zone,” Wilson said. “Overall, this academy taught me how to aspire to new heights, push my limits and most importantly fall in love with the field of business.”

While at the leadership academy, Wilson was honored with the Mercy College Leadership Academy Best Speech Award.

Wilson has been a member of the CCHS DECA Chapter since her freshman year of high school and has qualified for both the state and international DECA competitions with her service projects which require public presentations before panels of judges.

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