After winning the regional SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) championship in April, the Monroe College SIFE team ventured to Kansas City to compete in the national championships where they made a strong showing. "In the four years we have participated in the SIFE program," said Professor Max Torres, the team's faculty advisor, "Monroe College students have good answers to the question, ‘what are you doing for your community?' With the students' motivation, enthusiasm, and drive, we're not only winning awards, but we're also making an impact in communities."
The responsibility of service to the community is a major component of SIFE. This year, the Monroe SIFE team members taught computer skills to the elderly, helped high school students prepare for the work world, provided technical business support to a Caribbean restaurant, and promoted the importance of obtaining a college education. As a result, they worked with seniors, teens, and neighborhood businesses. Ben Hope Munroe, the student vice president of operations of the Monroe College SIFE team said, "The main focus of the club is to make a difference in the world." The 50-student club has members with differing college majors, including accounting, hospitality and tourism management, and business.
One activity carried out by the Monroe team is the Senior Tech Savvy program that teaches seniors to use computers. The students taught basic computer skills, how to send e-mails, and applications. Although some of the senior citizens had never previously used a computer, with the assistance of the Monroe SIFE team, they quickly mastered the material.
In the regional and national SIFE competitions, teams are judged during a 24-minute presentation and are evaluated on creativity and innovation, results of educational programs, and application of principles of free enterprise.SIFE is a non-profit organization that encourages the skills of leadership and teamwork by way of a cooperative relationship between higher education and business.SIFE has chapters at more than 800 colleges in the United States, and more than 1400 colleges in 33 countries. It makes connections between what is learned in the classroom and real-world situations.
Professor Max Torres, Professor Jan Rubino, Kelly-Anne Russell, David Foote, and Omar Small serve as advisors for the SIFE team and were named Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellows in recognition of their leadership and support of the Monroe College SIFE program.