The two-year Monroe College SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) team was named National Champions at this year’s national SIFE competition, held May 23-24 in Kansas City, Missouri. In winning, they defeated the three-year defending champions.
Monroe College President Stephen J. Jerome called the victory, "a truly marvelous occasion, one that brings glory to our State, our City, our Borough, and our College. We are so very proud of the students and their advisors who achieved this honor."
Academic Vice President Stephen M. Waldow noted, "This first-place victory in a national competition validates all that Monroe represents," a sentiment echoed by Executive Vice President Marc M. Jerome.
Vice President Jerome added that "this is a demonstration of teamwork in action. The SIFE team and its advisors know that ‘there is no "I" in "team"’."
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 college classroom and real-world situations.
In the national SIFE competitions, teams are evaluated on creativity and innovation, results of educational programs, and application of principles of free enterprise.
The team’s winning entry consisted of 19 different projects on which they had worked. In each, they used their training in business management and marketing to better the community. Their 24-minute multi-media presentation included an interactive video that the SIFE tech committee produced.
"Certainly it’s very gratifying to win," said Monroe SIFE President Cecil Wright, a Business Management major. "But what’s more important is the numbers of people we’ve helped along the way and the impact we’ve had on their lives."
The winning projects included Children Making Cents, in which SIFE students taught Bronx children aged 6-17 the importance of savings and how to open bank accounts. More than 135 children attended the seminar conducted by SIFE students. They then were taken on a tour of Commerce Bank, which included an inside look at an actual bank vault.
In evaluating the Monroe presentation as well as the effectiveness of the projects, one of the judges exclaimed, "Of all the years that I have served as a judge for these competitions, this is the best that I have ever seen!"