Southwestern Adventist University’s Enactus team members kicked off their summer in Kansas City, Missouri where they earned third place in their league at the Enactus USA National Competition and Expo. The university’s Enactus team prepares entrepreneurial-minded students for their future through service and leadership.
From May 5-8, the university’s 10-member competition team joined nearly 1,000 college students from almost one hundred colleges and universities across the United States. The event featured project showcases from Enactus teams all over the country, workshop sessions focused on developing interpersonal skills between future business leaders and customers and a career fair that gave students an opportunity to connect with multimillion-dollar companies.
For the presentation competition, Enactus United States randomly divided teams into leagues. Teams were judged by a panel based on the “quality and sustainability of the team’s initiatives and its impact”. The top team from each league advanced to the semi-finals.
“The 2019 Enactus National Exposition in Kansas City was an amazing experience,” SWAU Chapter President Arielle Powell said. “I was absolutely thrilled to see the team’s hard work and dedication pay off. Nationals gave us the chance to present our projects and highlight the impact that they have made.
“Our presentation team was successful in communicating to the judges the mission behind our projects and why we believe our projects were needed within the communities impacted. I am so proud of my team and the fact that they placed third in our league.”
Enactus United States also recognizes individual students who display excellence in leadership and service. Vivianna Martinez, a SWAU kinesiology junior, served as the team secretary this year. She was instrumental to the development and execution of many projects and events. During nationals, Martinez, a finalist for the Gwen Knapp Scholarship, received a scholarship toward her education at Southwestern Adventist University.
The university’s Enactus team averages 52 active members who create and implement sustainable projects focused on impacting and empowering others each year. Membership provides opportunities for students to manage projects, analyze operational effectiveness and give back to the community. Projects seek to improve economic, environmental and social outcomes for the communities being served.
This year, the team presented on three projects:
• Homegrown is a local project that has supplied over 25 raised garden beds to individual families while also providing education on gardening and healthy nutrition.
• Empower U is an inaugural self-branding event that brings together college students and professionals. Students are given access to resources that prepare them for their first workplace experience while improving professional skills.
• Rez Refuge is a community center within the Navajo Nation. Enactus is working with the Rez Refuge over the course of five years to establish a garden program and develop an industry selling pickles and other preserved foods.
Involvement in these projects allow for service to the community and advance the members’ professional and personal development. Past Enactus members from SWAU have embarked on competitive careers as financial analysists and advisors, marketing executives and health care managers.
“Enactus provides a great opportunity for students to apply classroom learning to the projects they implement,” Enactus Faculty Advisor Ana Patterson, who’s also a Sam Walton Fellow, said. “Team members learn how to assess a problem and find appropriate, real world solutions that have measurable, sustainable outcomes. I see Enactus as a complement to the whole educational experience.”