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Jewell students receive Center for Justice and Sustainability grants
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
March 19, 2012

The Center for Justice and Sustainability at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., has awarded grants to fund student projects for justice and sustainability.

Cole Wrisinger, Keith Smith and Christian Zirbel
In 2010, three business students from William Jewell travelled to Embarcadero, Honduras, to begin conversations about improving economic stability within the village. In 2012, Cole Wrisinger (Oak Grove, Mo.), Keith Smith (Merriam Woods Village, Mo.) and Christian Zirbel (Branson, Mo.) are continuing the “Tienda” (“shop” or “store”) micro-enterprise project in Embarcadero to improve the living conditions of the villagers by providing them with funds and expertise to maintain their own store and to initiate other economic/business projects.

The first part of this project was a January 2012 trip to Embarcadero to assess the business operations of the store including sales, revenue and expenses in order to provide a basis for forecasting the future growth and maintenance of the store. The second part of their project is to raise funds for the most pressing economic/business needs of the village.

During their January visit, the students learned that the most pressing needs are for a transformer to facilitate electrical power and a fishing boat to initiate a new commercial fishing cooperative. Cole, Keith and Christian are planning and implementing a fund- raising strategy for these two projects. The goal is to raise the needed funds by December 2012. Cole, Keith and Christian all major in biology; Cole is a senior and Keith and Christian are juniors.

Chelsea Taff, Christopher Reimer and Charlotte Belshe
Chelsea Taff (Berryville, Ark.), Christopher Reimer (Emporia, Kan.) and Charlotte Belshe (Glendale, Colo.) are using their awards to provide a connection between William Jewell and the “TOMS Day Without Shoes” annual event. TOMS matches every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes given to a child in need. Chelsea, Christopher and Charlotte will host an evening for William Jewell students to be together as a community to raise awareness about the mission of TOMS. These students will encourage all William Jewell students to go barefoot for the entire day in order for them to experience the pain of having no shoes. They have planned a dinner picnic for all participants with an outdoor concert and an informational documentary about the cause.

Chelsea is a sophomore nonprofit and international relations major; Christopher is a junior business, economics and Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry major; and Charlotte is a junior majoring in nonprofit leadership.

The Center for Justice and Sustainability at William Jewell College is at the heart of the College’s mission to cultivate leadership, service and spiritual growth. The Center’s role in this mission is to raise awareness of social, economic, and ecological challenges within our world in order to invite students to spend their lives creating solutions to these complex and interconnected issues.

William Jewell College is committed to bringing together talented students and gifted faculty mentors within a vibrant community sparked by a rigorous and intentional liberal arts curriculum. A full range of personal and professional development experiences are presented by the selective national liberal arts college’s location within the Kansas City metroplex of more than two million.

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