The Monroe College Bronx campus SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) team was named Regional Champions in the annual SIFE competition, held this week in Hartford, Connecticut. As a result, the twenty-eight member team will move on to participate in the National SIFE Competition in Kansas City, Missouri to be held on May 23-25. The Monroe College New Rochelle campus SIFE team finished as the first runner-up in their division.
The Monroe SIFE team's winning presentation consisted of six different projects they had worked on. In each, they used their training in business management and marketing to better their community. "Knowing we're helping people is very gratifying," said Monroe SIFE President Sherman Browne, a Business Management major. "Using what we've learned in the classroom is one thing. But seeing actual changes and improvements in the people and organizations we work with is why we do it in the first place." One of the projects the SIFE students developed was Cupid In Business. This was conducted at the Concourse House, a Bronx women's shelter. As a result of SIFE involvement, two women have now started their own businesses, having learned the benefits of entrepreneurship from the Monroe students. One now has a business of making and selling gift baskets and the other makes and sells hand-knitted hats.
"Our clients have doors slammed in their faces all the time," Concourse House caseworker Melinda Colon acknowledged. "But these wonderful Monroe students have helped them open doors. Now they realize they have certain skills and talents. In fact, before this their sole source of income would have been public assistance, but they now have their own earning potential. "Judges of the Monroe students' work made comments like, "excellent job, "good practical approach", "fantastic teaching tool for ethics and social responsibility", and, "your hard work shows."