Students In Free Enterprise, an international nonprofit organization, serves to bring together top leaders to create a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business.
The culmination of the SIFE program is a series of competitions where teams present the results of their projects that are then evaluated by business leaders who serve as judges. Teams compete first at the regional and national levels, then at the international level when the national champion teams from each country meet at the SIFE World Cup.
Reinhardt’s team includes Alexander Bryant, Lauren Gates, and Leslie Ratchford of Canton, Daniel Guererro of Woodstock, Qymane Brawner of Flowery Branch, Jessica Pitts of Marietta, Laura Waite of Cumming and Elizabeth Williams of Lawrenceville.
Brawner said she was excited about her team’s impressive showing.
“Words can’t describe how I feel about being on a regional champion team,” Brawner said. “I feel great, but I also feel more anxious to get to nationals and push on to the world cup.”
SIFE chapters use business concepts to develop community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.
Throughout the school year, the Reinhardt SIFE team conducted four charitable projects. These include collecting 1,645 pairs of shoes for Souls4Souls, a nonprofit that distributes shoes to people in impoverished areas; teaching Chick-fil-A’s Core Essentials Program to students at Porter Academy in Roswell; and raising $1,500 to purchase a dairy cow; and securing a $1,500 business grant from Sam’s Club for 15 sewing machines for Precious Pearls, a Christian nonprofit organization working to improve lives in Eldoret, Kenya.
Gates, a senior, said she was thankful for the guidance and encouragement provided by the club’s sponsors, including Tina Boosel, business instructor, Dr. Kathy Hyatt, assistant professor of business, Peggy Collins Feehery, director of career service, Bob Fain, business instructor, and J. Brian O’Loughlin, assistant professor of communication.
“Our SIFE advisers are incredible examples of the impact compassion can have,” she said. “No matter what, our advisers are always there to work alongside us and cheer us on.”
SIFE adviser Dr. Kathy Hyatt said she was proud of the team’s accomplishments.
“It has been a pleasure to work with these students,” Hyatt said. “Our judges — all business professionals — seemed to be very impressed with our students and the presentation. We may be small in size when compared to other schools, but we are big in heart and wanted to help as many people as we could.”
Gates said the most important thing SIFE taught her was the importance of giving back to the community.
“No matter how successful or busy we become, we should always try to be giving of our time, energy and resources, whenever we are able, so that we can provide for those in need and hopefully encourage someone,” Gates said.