MARCH 22, 2012

City University of Seattle Students to Compete in SIFE Regional Competition

City University of Seattle’s “Students in Free Enterprise” (SIFE) team will compete in Seattle’s SIFE USA Regional Competition on March 30, 2012. The event is one of 11 regional competitions being held across the country this month and next.

Each year, CityU of Seattle, a not-for-profit university headquartered in the greater Seattle area, has students at the master’s and bachelor level participate in this competition; and annually, students tackle issues that the community faces on a daily basis. Throughout SIFE’s history students have learned business concepts through developing community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.

This year, CityU students focused on having a more sustainable future in five different projects. Poor nutrition; hunger; carbon emission; and joblessness were all issues being addressed in these projects. To raise awareness around such issues, students integrated marketing techniques; traditional and non-traditional fundraising; and went out into their communities to practice what they were proposing. This resulted in students getting hands-on experience and two grants. HSBC awarded one team of students with the “HSBC Financial Literacy Grant”; and Lowe’s awarded students with the “Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant”.

According to Winnie Paramita, President of CityU’s SIFE team, “To lead a team of people from five different countries with one vision has been extraordinary. I’ve learned a lot about managing a team of people, budgeting, and executing a plan. While doing this, I’ve seen the many benefits of having a myriad of different perspectives. I look forward to participating in the competition on Friday and would recommend participating in SIFE to anyone who would like to get experience while serving his or her community.”

CityU is one of nearly 600 programs in the United States participating in SIFE’s competition, and each project truly made a difference.

Here is some information about this year’s student projects:

Mom’s Nutrition Mission: Fast, Delicious, Affordable, and Nutritious

This team wanted to have a significant impact on the national health crisis as it related to nutrition. They called this effort, “Mom’s Nutrition Mi$$ion”, with the goal of teaching mothers how to spend less while teaching their children healthy eating habits. Their teams’ motto is: “Fast, Delicious, Affordable, Nutritious.”

To date, this team has organized four nutrition workshops at the local community center that has taught moms how to make school lunches that are both healthy and kid-friendly. Through these workshops a total of 25 families have attended, which has resulted in a total of 100 people eating more nutritiously (hopefully).

Giving Gardens: Making good food and produce available to all

2.5 million households in the US are in a state of food insecurity, the highest number ever recorded. And, it has been recorded that these households are less likely to purchase healthy and organic produce because it is not made available to them. CityU’s SIFE team made it their mission to make good food available to everyone through the use of sustainable gardening.

“Giving Gardens”, this team’s name, empowered needy families and communities through a three-tiered assistance program that enabled people to have healthy produce in their backyard. This team provided people with starter plants, seeds, soil, and woods. In partnership with local nursery and gardening stores, this team was able to help nine families and a community center. They also provide training for gardeners so they would be able to cultivate bigger and better gardens in the future. This team orientated workshops and mentorships for each gardener, giving them basic knowledge about gardening activities; and equipped them with human resources that assisted them in building raised beds (please reference the photos).

This team built six gardens for needy families and one raised bed in a period of less than four months. To increase awareness around the issue of sustainable gardening and food insecurity, they joined “Mom’s Nutrition Mi$$ion” for one of Mom’s Mi$$ion’s workshops and talked about their project.

During their community outreach, this team secured the Lowe’s Community Improvement grant and was able to build raised beds at a Seattle Public School. The purpose of building it at this location was to teach young children the value of growing their own food.

Veteran Project: Addressing the relationship between homelessness and being a veterans

There are 150,000 homeless veterans in the state of Washington. According to this team’s research, the issue of homelessness among veterans is expected to grow in the coming years. This is why they wanted to address this growing trend.

This CityU SIFE team partnered with the Bread of Life Mission in Seattle, a non-profit organization, to teach homeless individuals skills that help them become more productive members of society. Specifically, this team served meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. In addition to helping serve meals with the Bread of Life Mission, this team also assisted veterans with business plans and with general business assistance. The goal was to help veterans get back on their feet. Together, this team served several who spent their Thanksgiving and/or Christmas with the Bread of Life Mission; and assisted a business with their businesses plan.

To find out more about other projects and/or to find out about who worked on what project, email Winnie Paramita, the CityU Student President of SIFE, at winniepparamita@cityu.edu.

If CityU’s SIFE team wins the competition on March 30, they will advance to the 2012 SIFE USA National Exposition in Kansas City, Missouri, May 22- 24.

Best of luck SIFE team!



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