Penn State Altoona SIFE team named Top 40
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 1249 hits
ALTOONA —The Penn State Altoona SIFE team (Students In Free Enterprise) was named First Runner Up in its league while competing at the SIFE USA National Exposition held May 22-24, 2012, in Kansas City, MO. The finish places them in the top forty out of 577 active teams in the country. This is the team’s best finish in its seven year history.
Competing as 1 of 160 teams at Expo, the Penn State Altoona students presented a 24-minute multimedia summary of the educational outreach projects they developed and implemented throughout the year. They were judged by a panel of distinguished business leaders on how well they created economic opportunity by educating others.
Some of the projects highlighted in the team’s presentation included that of an ongoing program with the Blair County Drug and DUI courts. Through this project, participants learn the necessary skills to apply for and gain employment. There has been a 60 percent job placement rate since the project’s inception in 2005. This year, the team worked with Family Services of Blair County to present the program at the Emergency Shelter, with a 60 percent job placement rate as well. The team also presented its partnership with a local businesswoman to turn her publishing company into a non-profit organization, and help her reduce costs, increase marketing efforts and increase sales of books that tell stories of children with physical, mental or language impairment. An international project focused on the women and children who continue to struggle economically from the Rwandan genocide. The team will travel to Rwanda again this summer to help build greenhouses to expand their economic opportunities, develop a global marketplace for the women’s crafts, and expand educational sponsorship opportunities for the children.
In additional to competition, students had the opportunity to interview for jobs and internships during a Career Fair with representatives from SIFE partner companies.
Twenty students from the Penn State Altoona SIFE team travelled to the competition as presenters, project managers/members, and technical support. Also attending the competition were Chancellor Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry; Dr. Barbara Wiens-Tuers, head of the Division of Business and Engineering; Andrea Pacifico, SIFE Business Advisory Board member of Sam's Club; and SIFE Business Advisory Board member Amy Seltzer of Seltzer Financial Strategies, LLC.
Cynthia Wood serves as the advisor for the SIFE team with Sue Stevens as project coordinator.
SIFE is an international non-profit organization that brings together the leaders of today and tomorrow to create a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business. Founded in 1975, SIFE has active programs on more than 1500 college and university campuses in 39 countries. Through projects that improve the lives of people worldwide, the university students, academic professionals and industry leaders who participate in SIFE are demonstrating that individuals with a knowledge and passion for business can be a powerful force for change.