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KCKCC entrepreneur teamA team of, from left, Michael Green, Dottie Castleberry, Therese DeBarr, Estefania Torrez, Eva Bett, Cesley Williams, Byron Harris and faculty adviser Allen Lenoir will compete in the Enactus USA National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo. May 21-23. (KCKCC photo by Randy Royer)
KCKCC entrepreneur team
To say that Kansas City Kansas Community College’s first year in Enactus competition was a huge success is an understatement.
Formerly known as SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), the KCKCC team won the League I championship at the recent Enactus regional competition held in Rogers, Ark., and will be competing in the USA National Exposition to be held in the Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo., May 21-23.
“During the regional, the judges gave our team a standing ovation,” faculty adviser Allen Lenoir said proudly. In addition to winning top team honors, the KCKCC team qualified for the Rookie of the Year in the national competition. Lenoir said of the 158 teams out of 540 college and university members qualified for the national, only 10 are from community colleges. Enactus stands for Entrepreneurship in Action.
“This is the best team I’ve ever had and the first to go to national in several years,” said Lenoir, who founded SIFE in 2001 and has been faculty advisor for the last 12 years. “It’s very focused and determined and spent a lot of hours in preparation.”
The team is made up of Estefania Torrez, chapter president; and Brittani Ball, Eva Bett, Dorothy Castleberry, Therese DeBarr, David Heard, Byron Harris, Danielle Jefferson, Bobbie Jones, Dennis Molina, Ana Romero and Cesley Williams.
“The team was open to everyone, not just business majors,” Lenoir said. “We had majors in chemistry, education and web design.”
Teams were judged on how well they address economic, social and environmental issues and how they empowered people by applying business and economic concepts along with being reviewed on how effectively they had applied entrepreneurial approaches to improving quality of life and standards of living.
The KCKCC chapter took on nearly a dozen projects during the year, most of which were devoted to improving the quality of life for people in need. Some of those projects:
Reality U – Held 24 interactive session in eight KCK schools to help students make wise financial choices regarding the necessities they imagine will be a part of their adult lifestyle. “Of the 500 students reached, 80 percent indicated plans to attend college,” Lenoir said.
Hillcrest – Students took part in a three-month plan to move people from homelessness in Hillcrest Transitional Housing to self-sufficiency. That involvement included getting an overview of expenses and savings for a family and developing a 90-day budget with an emphasis on saving.
My Shelf to Yours – Working in partnership with the International Student Organization (ISO) and Students of Latinos, students collected new and used books to establish a lending library and an on-line bookstore to assist students unable to afford textbooks and provide more than $5,500 in scholarships.
VITA – Six members gave 200 hours of volunteer service to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at KCKCC which generated more than $1 million in tax refunds to low-income taxpayers.
Junior Achievement – Workshops were held for third, fourth and fifth grade classes on what it takes to be an entrepreneur, how to start a business and resources that are needed.
Teen transformation – Teenagers were taught how to overcome employment obstacles, conduct employment searches and succeed in job interviews and workshops were held for high school juniors and seniors to provide business and entrepreneurial education and experiences.
Success skills – A workshop was held in which eight of 10 at-risk students found employment.
Stock market – During a 14-week period, 25 high school students learned the role of the stock market, stock market terms and how to diversity portfolios to eliminate financial risk.
“We’re excited to participate in the Enactus USA National Exposition this year,” Lenoir said. “It’s going to allow our students to showcase to the judges and audience the wonderful projects we have worked on this year.”