On Wednesday, April 11 the Monroe College SIFE Team won a regional competition and as a result will advance to the SIFE USA National Exposition on May 22-24 in Kansas City, MO.
This will be the ninth consecutive year that Monroe will participate in the Nationals. In 2005, the Monroe College SIFE team was a National SIFE Champion and they were featured on the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box.
SIFE, which stands for Students in Free Enterprise, is an international organization that encourages students to apply what is learned in the classroom toward making communities better. SIFE teams from participating colleges present their projects in an inter-active multi-media format to be judged by corporate executives.
In 2012 for the first time, the Monroe SIFE team merged members from the college’s two New York campuses in the Bronx and New Rochelle to maximize the resources on community projects and create a more unified presentation. The results were obvious to all who were on hand for the team’s multi-media performance that took place at the N.Y. Hilton on the Avenue of Americas in Manhattan.
“We felt strongly that we could serve our communities more efficiently if we got the students from both campuses on the same page,” said Sam Walton Fellow Professor Stacy Crawford, who serves as the SIFE team’s primary faculty advisor, “and we’re thrilled with the results. The projects were better focused and were quite effective. Also our team members developed the art of compromise having to work with a diverse group. We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to do with SIFE this year.”
Former Monroe SIFE Presidents Cecil Wright and Sherman Browne and Sam Walton Fellows Karian Wright and Oral Seymour helped the current team develop its presentation and guided them through the competition.
This year’s Monroe SIFE projects are published in an annual report called, “Architects of Hope.” They include:
Youth Empowerment Program – To empower youth by teaching loan management and financial aid awareness, encourage them to harness social media productively for entrepreneurial ventures, introduce positive role models, and enhance social and academic skills. To help accomplish these goals the SIFE team secured a grants from Lowe’s and TIAA-CREF.
Community Empowerment Program – To fight hunger, equip women in shelters with the necessary tools and skills to earn personal income with an eye toward self-sufficiency, and provide career readiness training. The SIFE team collected more than 3,000 lbs. of non-perishable goods, delivered meals and groceries to more than 150 families and provided extensive job and career development support.
Entrepreneurial Empowerment Program – To provide fledgling and struggling entrepreneurs with the skills and tools to launch and manage their businesses, promote environmental awareness among local businesses and create ‘green’ business plans, and to help business owners increase efficiency and productivity. To accomplish these goals the SIFE team secured grants from Capital One Bank and HSBC.