For the second time in just two weeks, Monroe College can boast of a Regional SIFE Champion. On Tuesday, April 11, the thirty-six member Monroe College two-year SIFE team, which is based on the college’s Bronx campus, won the League 4 Regional Competition held in Tarrytown, NY, thereby qualifying for the May 21-23 National SIFE Competition in Kansas City, Missouri. On March 29, Monroe’s four-year team won their Regional Competition and also qualified for the National Exposition. In addition to the overall championship, the Monroe two-year SIFE team also swept the Individual Topic Competition, which rewards achievement in financial literacy, market economics, success skills, business ethics, program sustainability, and entrepreneurship.
The team’s winning entry consisted of nine different projects they had worked on. In each, they used their educational skills and training to better the community. Their 24-minute ultimedia For SIFE President Tishma Donastorg, getting a chance to compete in the national competition for the second year in a row has great meaning. “We put a lot of work into it and so we’re very happy,” she said. “But, more importantly, I think of all the people we’ve helped and that means more to us than anything.”
Many in attendance at the Regional Competition were impressed with the Monroe presentation. One judge said, “Not only were their projects incredibly well-conceived, but their presentation was impeccable.” A few of this year’s projects were continuations of last year’s work and some were new. For example, Cupid in Business is now in its third year. This project upports women from the Concourse House homeless shelter in the Bronx, teaching them entrepreneurial and computer skills.
In fact, using what she had learned from SIFE, one woman started her own business, which have her enough income to eventually move out of the Concourse House. One new project is Bakes the Cake, which deals with a Bronx bakery. Monroe SIFE worked with the small business owner to create a marketing plan and help her expand from a consumerbased operation to include wholesale distribution.
In SIFE competitions, teams 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 college classroom and real-world situations. Presentation included an interactive video that the SIFE tech committee produced.
Last year this two-year SIFE team was a National SIFE Champion and was featured on FOX 5, New York 1, News 12, and the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box.