TAMIU ENACTUS Heads to Kansas City for National Exposition and Competition
A group of Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) students who planted a vegetable garden for low-income families and helped fellow students secure over $120,000 in tax refunds will compete for the national championship title at the ENACTUS National Exposition and Competition in Kansas City, Mo., Monday, May 20.
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.
TAMIU’s ENACTUS will be one of 160 teams competing in the ENACTUS National Competition.
Dr. Robert Evans, assistant professor of marketing and TAMIU ENACTUS advisor, said the National Competition is structured on a league format, with 20 leagues that include eight teams in each league.
On the first day of the competition, all eight teams will present before a panel of judges throughout the day. Each team will be scored by 8 - 12 judges from Fortune 500 companies, Dr. Evans said. After all teams have presented, scores are tallied, and the winner of the league is announced. League winners advance to the next day’s competition.
The final day of competition is similar to the first day of competition, but only four leagues participate. After the winners of those leagues are determined, those winners participate in a final competition, presenting in front of a larger panel of judges. After scores are tallied, the National Champion is announced, Dr. Evans explained.
ENACTUS TAMIU has gone to great lengths to not only prepare for the competition but also to complete projects in the community which have contributed to their success, Evans said.
“In the ENACTUS Regional Competition in Dallas, the judges complimented the students on their commitment to the Laredo community and seeing their projects through success,” Evans said, “This commitment has carried over to their preparation for the national competition.”
Students have spent countless hours preparing their oral presentation, making a video presentation for the judges and preparing an annual report for the judges and TAMIU ENACTUS supporters, he said.
“Overall, TAMIU ENACTUS has done an excellent job preparing emotionally, physically, and professionally to compete on the national level with schools such as the University of Florida, University of Alabama and University of Texas-Dallas, among many other larger schools,” Evans said, “The team is definitely ready to compete on a national stage.”
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, 15 members earned certification from the Internal Revenue Service to provide free income tax filing assistance at TAMIU.
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 able to more effectively secure financial aid.
The organization has also been involved in “the Bazaar,’” a weekend market where local artists gather to showcase and sell their work at the French Quarter in North Laredo.
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