ORU SIFE Places Fifth in Nationals

From collecting cans for the hungry, to mentoring burn survivors in Tulsa, the ORU Students In Free Enterprise team has been busy in its delivery of stellar SIFE Group Award 2012world-changing projects. After championing the regional Dallas competition, the Tulsa team recently won fifth at nationals in Kansas City, Mo, for their outstanding presentation.

The ORU SIFE team has always consisted of quality students with strong business skills, ambitious activism, and a heart for community.

As a part of their SIFE team presentation, the group worked in collaboration with Campbell’s Soup to collect food for those in need. They won the 2011 Campbell’s Let’s Can Hunger Challenge at the SIFE national conference by collecting 159,000 pounds of food.

For the 2011-2012 academic year, ORU’s SIFE team collected an astounding 198,000 pounds of canned goods.

The team expanded Let’s Can Hunger’s impact by addressing illiteracy in Tulsa as a contributing factor to low education and hunger. The ORU members mentored students at McClure Elementary with their reading and saw an average growth of 13 months of literacy during the five-month period spent training them.

Their industrious nonprofit work aided the Tulsa community in more ways than one.

In March, ORU SIFE hosted a Burn Survivor Retreat to help young people between the ages of 15 and 20 cope with their scars. President of ORU SIFE and senior marketing major Puja Ghelani said the event was an opportunity to meet the needs of their local community.

“We received a phenomenal response about the success of the event. We knew we’d impact the young adults, but were amazed and encouraged at how deeply we touched them,” said Ghelani. “By hosting this retreat, we raised awareness for the burn community and educated many people on this need.”

The team completed several other projects during the 2011-2012 academic year, including consulting a small business, assisting partners in Peru and Tajikistan to train people with better business skills, and providing corn seeds for sustainable living at an orphanage in Uganda.

Having won regionals and placing fifth in the nation, the ORU SIFE team has a stellar resume from their passionate nonprofit works. Ghelani said the team was proud to showcase their exemplary efforts at the SIFE competitions.

“At regionals, we heard from the judges how they were personally impacted to make a difference in their communities,” said Ghelani. “We hoped to inspire others to do as we have done—to reach a little higher, go a little farther, and do a little better.”