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William Jewell’s Students In Free Enterprise team named regional champions
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
April 11, 2008

The William Jewell College SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) team was named regional champions at the organization’s SIFE USA Regional Competition held April 7-8 in Philadelphia, Penn. The event was one of 16 SIFE USA Regional Competitions being held across the United States in March and April.

After presenting a report of their year-long community outreach projects to a panel of business leaders, the Jewell SIFE team was named a SIFE USA Regional Champion in the overall competition. The team also received a $1,000 cash award as a finalist in the SIFE USA HSBC Financial Literacy Competition. The team will now advance to the national level of SIFE competition at the SIFE USA National Exposition May 13-15 in Chicago, Ill.

A unique program teaching elementary students about the concepts of saving, spending, investing and donating 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. We share this honor with many supportive community partners and advisory board members.” William Jewell faculty members Linda Bell, Jean Hawkins, Cynthia Green, Angie Klein and Kelli Schutte serve with Scarfino as faculty advisors for the Jewell SIFE team.

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.

“SIFE is an interdisciplinary team,” said Dr. Cynthia Green, professor of education at William Jewell. “It has provided a great connection for our students to gain practical experience in leading projects and teaching others the importance of free enterprise and personal success skills.”

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.

With its challenging academic culture and focus on student achievement, William Jewell College promises students an outstanding liberal arts education that cultivates leadership, service, and spiritual growth within a community inspired by Christian ideals and committed to open, rigorous intellectual pursuits.

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