The Worcester State Enactus team placed third in its league at the 2019 Enactus National Exposition in Kansas City on May 5-7, ranking in the top 48 of more than 400 teams in the United States. The 24-member team also received the Excellence Award for Leveraging Enactus Resources and Opportunities, one of only seven Excellence Awards handed out.
Enactus is an entrepreneurial organization for students of all majors. Students utilize leadership and business skills to make a positive impact on their community. Some of the group’s projects are:
- Financial Literacy at Reyes House and an expansion of the program to Crozier House this year. Led by Andre Laska and a team of six students, this program has become a staple of the Enactus Team. Participation in the course is a requirement for graduation from Reyes House.
- Back-On-The-Books was also offered at both houses to teach the importance of filing taxes. Created by Nathan Childs ’18, this program won the DCU Innovation Contest in 201818. This year, it was led by Kyle McGuire ’20.
- Thea’s Pantry: Enactus played a key role in the partnership to open a food pantry on the WSU campus. At last count, Thea’s Pantry had distributed over 900 pounds of food to WSU students in need. Owen Whetherall ’21 and Hailey Fitch ’22 led the efforts this year.
- Road to Wellness, a fitness, walking, and running program for the men of Reyes House, was offered for the third year. In partnership with the WMCA Main South Branch, this program focuses on providing a low/no-cost exercise alternative designed to increase the production of endorphins, which may reduce cravings in individuals recovering from substance use disorder. Co-project managed by Rachel Sharp ’19 and Scott Page ’19 this year, it is hoped this will lead to medical trials in the future.
- Access to Healthcare is a program in its fourth year. Led by Meg Foley ’20 and Matt Rollins ’22 in partnership with the Lions organization, this program has helped identify previously undiagnosed medical/visual/hearing issues and offered referrals for more than 60 community members.
- Buddy Bench involves installing benches and providing interactive assemblies at more than 15 Worcester public elementary schools, with the goal of hitting all 33 of the Worcester elementary schools within the next two years. Focusing on pro-inclusion, it is a defense against bullying aimed at kindergarten through fourth-grade students. This effort was led by Lauren Banfield ’20 and Stephanie Correia ’19.
At the Enactus National Exposition, several individual Worcester State Enactus members were recognized for their leadership. Zoe Bates was a finalist for National Executive Leader of the Year, Quynh Doan was a finalist for National Finance Leader of the Year, Fernando Ponce was a semifinalist for National Marketing Leader of the Year, and Lauren Banfield was a semifinalist for National Project Leader of the Year.
Students attending the National Exposition gained invaluable knowledge and experience in leadership, networking, entrepreneurialism, and public service. They were able to network with top executives and hiring managers from Fortune 100 firms, including Unilever, Ford Motor, Intuit, KPMG, and more.
The WSU team was featured in the Enactus USA National Competition Final Flashback video ; members can be seen at 0:54.