TAMIU Enactus Named Regional Champions in Dallas Among 40 University Competitors
Community service projects including planting a vegetable garden that feeds low-income families and helping students with their tax returns earned Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) student organization Enactus the “Regional Champions” title at the Enactus Regional Competition held recently in Dallas.
TAMIU’s team now travels to Kansas City, Mo., in May for the Enactus National Competition.
TAMIU Enactus Regional Champs
The Texas A&M International University Enactus group recently won the Regional Enactus Competition in Dallas and advance to the national competition.
Pictured from left to right are (back row): Daniel Jiménez, Roger García, José Jacobo, Jesús Reyes, Rodrigo Martínez, Ricardo Peña, Omar Bretado, Rubén Lara, David Canseco.
Front row: Jessica García, Jazmín Oviedo, Daniela Reyna, Yessenia Macías, Gina Calzada, Jennifer McCanlas, Lizeth Pérez, Clariza Villa, Paloma Gante, Jessica Ortega and Ana Gamboa. Not pictured, Gustavo Martinez.
Formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), Enactus is a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to enable human progress. Enactus students apply business concepts to develop community outreach projects, transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world.
At the Regional Competition, TAMIU students competed against representatives of 40 universities, presenting their six projects to a panel of judges. Teams came from Texas, Florida, Arkansas, California, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Mississippi.
Among Enactus’ competition projects were the planting of a community vegetable garden in El Cenizo for low-income families, helping a local non-profit thrift store for low-income veterans create a database to record financial transactions, hosting events to collect canned food items for veterans, and working with a local bakery to increase bread production and revenues.
In addition, another competition project saw 15 Enactus members earn certification from the Internal Revenue Service to provide free income tax filing assistance at TAMIU.
Enactus completed 110 returns, primarily for students, successfully securing $120,000 in refunds and saving student clients $21,000 in preparation fees. With accurate returns in hand, many students were also able to more effectively secure financial aid.
Jessica García, TAMIU Enactus treasurer, said the team was nervous at the competition, but happy because members’ hard work paid off.
“It felt great to represent TAMIU and Laredo,” she said, “We felt proud to let people know that we have a passion about helping the community.”
Dr. Andres Rivas-Chávez, TAMIU associate professor of finance and economics and Enactus faculty advisor, explained that while many Enactus members are business majors, all academic disciplines are represented. Drawing knowledge from various academic areas, students are able to work on projects that are multidisciplinary in nature, he said.
At the national competition, TAMIU Enactus will be competing with top universities from all over the United States, Rivas-Chávez explained.
Enactus has also been involved in “the Bazaar,’” a weekend market where local artists gather to showcase and sell their work.
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