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Jewell’s SIFE team competes at national event
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
May 19, 2008

The William Jewell College SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) team was named a first runner up in the 4-year Division Opening Round Competition of the organization’s SIFE USA National Exposition held May 13-15 in Chicago, Ill. The award came with a trophy and a $1,000 prize. By qualifying for the national competition, Jewell’s SIFE team was recognized as one of the top 40 teams in the country. The University of Missouri-Kansas City was the only other area college competing at the national event.

William Jewell’s SIFE team was named a SIFE USA Regional Champion at the April regional event held in Philadelphia, Penn. The team also received a $1,000 cash award at the regional event as a finalist in the SIFE USA HSBC Financial Literacy Competition.

A special National Finalist Award was given to a unique program teaching elementary students about the concepts of saving, spending, investing and donating. This project was recognized as one of the top 20 projects in this category across the nation. The “Money Farm” project was sponsored by M&I Bank, which provided special “Moolah” cow banks to students completing the training provided by the Jewell SIFE team.

“We are very proud of the service this team has provided for members of our community,” said Debbie Scarfino, Sam Walton Fellow and associate professor of business at William Jewell. “Seventy-seven Jewell SIFE team members devoted more than 3,500 hours to project work in our extended communities, reaching more than 7,000 people, and generating more than 9 million gross impressions through media publicity. We share this honor with many supportive community partners and advisory board members.”

SIFE is an international non-profit organization active on more than 1,400 university campuses in 48 countries. SIFE teams create economic opportunities in their communities by organizing outreach projects that focus on market economics, entrepreneurship, personal financial success skills and business ethics.

During the 2007-08 academic year, the Jewell SIFE team organized 18 projects in the Kansas City community, including a special program called “Seed to Shirt” designed to teach area students how a market-based economic system operates. The 557 students in grades kindergarten through eight mapped the life cycle of a t-shirt, charting its progress from cottonseed to thread and cloth and through the production process before finally being recycled. Through the support of a private donor, a special t-shirt was provided to each participating student to remind them of the project and to encourage them to teach others what they had learned.

Jewell’s SIFE team was also involved in a new Cyber Ethics project during the current academic year. The project taught area parents about concerns over Internet safety and social networking behavior. The team connected with nearly 2.6 million people through various promotional efforts and media outreach on this timely topic.
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