SIFE students learn business management skills

Brittany Johnson

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Students in Free Enterprise is a campus organization which focuses on community service. They prepare different service projects every semester and their work is award winning.
In the spring, SIFE took their 15th consecutive championship from the SIFE Regional Competition in Los Angeles. SIFE director Leroy Brady said he feels blessed to work with an amazing group of students and believes what these students complete every year is rewarding in so many ways.
Senior SIFE student Alyssia Hogue has been a part of the program for two years and said it has changed her outlook on life. “One lesson SIFE has taught me is that you can be anything.For me SIFE is the best thing in the world,” said Hogue. “We help people, people in our own communities; and all of the schools around the world really do make a difference.”
SIFE operates the A La Cart Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. providing snacks and refreshments to people on campus. Students involved receive classroom instruction for learning how to operate and manage a small business.
“Working at the A La Carte gives me the opportunity to learn how a small business runs, from doing inventory, doing promotions and keeping track (of) student work hours,” said A La Carte manager, Saurice Grady.
The Business Resource Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is run by the SIFE students as well. The center provides printing services, faxes, internet access, business cards, entrepreneurial tools and more.
SIFE also works with local high schools providing pregnant teenage mothers and fathers with helpful financial management skills, preparing students for academic success, informing about the importance of ethics and also offer motivation and mentoring.
Once a month a business network breakfast is held on campus, and local business owners and students are invited to attend to network. Oct. 21 at 7 a.m. is the next breakfast in room D-121 A and B.
Hogue said she is most looking forward to the Tax Matters project. SIFE provides the community with a tax filling center staffed by the students and provides a Web site for downloadable tax forms. To date the team has prepared over 460 returns with a total of $436,050 in tax refunds.
“I am very excited to see our tax preparation project grow this year,” said Hogue.
New projects this year include a Community Empowerment Fair to inform the public about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, teen group workshops for practicing interviewing and presentation skills, and working with ninth grade students to prepare for the future.
SIFE members encourage questions comments and a helpful hand. Their next events including a Business Plan Workshop on Oct. 24 at 9 a.m. at Southwestern College.

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