April 20, 2016
Enactus to Compete in National Tournament in May
On March 28, West Virginia Wesleyan College Enactus team in the Thomas H. Albinson II School of Business competed in the regional competition in Washington, D.C. Wesleyan’s team earned league champion in the 17-minute business style competition. The presentation summarized the projects students have completed since the beginning of the academic year. All the projects aim to address poverty and education issues in Upshur County or to educate Wesleyan students.
The group will travel to the national competition in St. Louis, MN on May 15-18 under the guidance of Dr. Tracie Dodson, associate professor of business, and Kelly Terhune Sharp ’03, MBA ‘05, assistant professor of economics and business.
Enactus is a community of students and academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. Currently 31 students participate, overseeing eight projects with 22 partner organizations. Over 1,750 service hours have been provided this year with an impact of more than 4,800 people. The group has received $8,100 in grants awards with $500 income earned.
Completing its 16th year, “Money Matters” is the longest running project of the group. Enactus team members go into the 5th grade classrooms at the local elementary school where over 71% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Based on this statistic alone, educating these students about entrepreneurship, budgeting, and savings is incredibly important so they can break the poverty cycle. At the conclusion of this project, the 5th graders create, market, and sell their products at a virtual Money Matters market place. After paying back their loan to the "Bank of Enactus," the profits are divided among the students who elect to start a savings account or add to a pre-existing one.
The students also work with area kindergarten classes to teach students about bullying. Eight Disney movies are shown to teach the students that bullying goes far beyond physical violence. For example, Frozen is used to teach them the value of differences; to show them what it is like to be the new kid or be excluded, the children watch Toy Story. By the end of the third lesson, students are not only able to identify how the person being bullied feels, but also express what they would do to help the person. This year, three seminars were conducted about bullying at the Stockert Youth Center, enabling the team to reach over 40 additional children from kindergarten to 5th grade.
“Our Enactus team feels both of these projects are important, as 35-50% of workers identify that they have been the victim of workplace harassment or bullying,” said Sharp.
In addition to educating the local youth, Enactus also educates college students through the Up to Us project, funded through the Up to Us Foundation. The goal is to educate college students nationwide about the national debt and our nation’s fiscal future. Team members presented information in the classroom, held a flash mob in the cafeteria, and a pie-in-the-face event on campus.
The HOPE & FAITH project, where Enactus partners with a single mom's ministry group at a local church, focuses on women because the median household earnings for women in our area is just over $11,000, and overall household income in Upshur County is 67% below the national average. Through our four seminar programs, the team has impacted eight women by helping them to write their first resume and find new and meaningful careers. The FAITH project assisted these same women to help improve their life by working through a partnership with the Parish House teaching them to make healthy $4 meals. The FAITH project also partners with the Opportunity House to build and plant community gardens, to make healthy eating an easier and sustainable choice for participants living in Opportunity House properties.
Other projects include working with a local Main Street business to help the owner identify and attract people in the target market and build awareness of the products, and a recycling initiative in a fraternity house collecting over 100 pounds of aluminum with a total of 3,270 cans.
For more information about Enactus, please contact Sharp at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dodson at email@example.com. The Thomas H. Albinson II School of Business offers majors in accounting, economics, management, marketing, sport business, and an MBA.
Photo cutline: L-r: Anthony Hill, Stacy Remer, Casey Gilbert (Enactus FAITH Project Chair), Abbey McClung, DeAntre Watkins, Matt Kerner (Opportunity House Executive Director), and Jesse Fenton
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