April 6, 2017

VSU Enactus Heads to National Exposition May 21-23

Pictured, from left to right are Nathanial Danquah, Alison Mgbeke, Venessia Harris, Ashlee Holness, and Tori Brown.

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University is one of 150 teams that will compete at the 2017 Enactus United States National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo., May 21-23.
“My joy comes from seeing our members make a real impact in our local community, whether they are mentoring a young lady from the group home where we volunteer; helping a mother at a local homeless shelter get a job; or even planning a carnival for the children at the lower income housing developments,” said Alison Mgbeke, VSU Enactus president. “Those are the moments that ... make being the president of Enactus worth it. Our most recent win at regionals helps solidify the good deeds we do in the community."
VSU Enactus qualified for the 2017 Enactus United States National Exposition after winning first place at the 2017 Enactus United States Regional Competition in March in Atlanta.  
VSU Enactus was represented at the competition by five members — Alison Mgbeke of Atlanta, Enactus president and a senior business marketing major; Tori Brown of Cincinnati, Ohio, Enactus co-chairwoman of ComputerSmarts and a senior business management major; Venessia Harris of Bronx, N.Y., Enactus co-chairwoman of the Skills Success Center at Ora Lee West Homes and a junior business management major; Ashlee Holness of Coral Springs, Fla., Enactus member and a sophomore healthcare administration major; and Nathanial Danquah of Accra, Ghana, Enactus member and a junior healthcare administration major.
They presented the results of four ongoing VSU Enactus projects — Kultured Kampus, Ora Lee West Homes and Hudson Dockett Homes, Boys and Girls Club, and the Greenhouse Project.
Through Kultured Kampus: An International Project, VSU Enactus works with three tailors in the Republic of The Gambia — one who makes ties and bowties, one who makes book bags, and one who makes long-sleeve and short-sleeve dashikis as well as clothing for children. An overseer manages the production and ensures the tailors have what they need to create the goods. Enactus takes these items and makes them available for purchase through an online boutique. Proceeds provide job opportunities to tailors in The Gambia and fund the education of Gambian school children.
VSU Enactus mentors high school students at the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta, concentrating on competition and entrepreneurship. Inspired by the hit television show “Shark Tank,” Enactus helps students develop a product or service idea and teaches them about design, product cost, pricing, and marketing. Students present their business endeavors to professional members of the community.
At Ora Lee West Homes and Hudson Dockett Homes, VSU Enactus creates and leads educational programs for children, focusing on mentorship and entrepreneurship. Enactus members help the children create plans for small businesses, teaching them that they can make a difference in their community.
Enactus partners with Lowndes Associated Ministries to People Inc., a nonprofit that serves homeless men, women, and children. Through the Greenhouse Project, Enactus helped shelter residents design and construct a greenhouse out of recycled plastic bottles and taught them how to grow their own food. Enactus is developing plans to build an aquaponics center where the residents can grow fresh vegetables and raise fish. Residents will be able to sell excess food to local markets. Through ComputerSmarts, Enactus helps shelter residents gain basic computer skills.   
Enactus is an international organization that connects student, academic and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities.
Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement entrepreneurial projects around the globe. The experience not only transforms lives, but also helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that is essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world.
“The members of VSU Enactus have worked very hard this year and winning at the regional competition is validation of their hard work,” said Jeffrie Shipley, faculty advisor for VSU Enactus. “As of today, they have volunteered over 10,000 hours in our community, using skills they’ve learned in the classroom to make an impact....”
During the 2017 Enactus United States Regional Competition, students had an opportunity to network with employers. Fifteen VSU students left with job offers.
“Our mission is to change lives, change the world, and change yourself ... I am very, very proud of this team,” Shipley said.
Contact Jeffrie Shipley at (229) 245-6573 or jkshiple@valdosta.edu to learn more.
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