TAMIU SIFE Students Help Others, Selves

TAMIU SIFE Students Help Others While Helping Themselves

Texas A&M International University's award-winning Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)  chapter  has targeted the development of a series of community outreach projects this year, including "Business Links." (photo)

"Business Links" will see TAMIU-SIFE offer computer concept classes to adults that focus on teaching computer terminology, MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  This course will be offered at the Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development's Outreach Center in back of Gonzalez Middle School.

The TAMIU-SIFE team is comprised of a diverse group of students from all disciplines who take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to real-life situations. As they do so, they focus on using their knowledge to better the community through free enterprise educational outreach projects.

Last year, in its first year of existence, the SIFE Team did an outstanding job representing Laredo and the surrounding communities.  They garnered the coveted Regional Champion award during the SIFE USA Regional Competition held in Dallas last April and were also selected as "Rookie of the Year." 

That same team advanced to the SIFE USA National Exposition and were selected as a National "Rookie of the Year" team.

Faculty advisor to the group is Dr. J. Michael Patrick, TAMIU professor and director of the Texas Center for Border Economics and Enterprise Development (TCBEED).  Dr. Patrick was named SIFE-TAMIU Sam Walton Free Enterprise Fellow in recognition of his leadership and support of the SIFE program.  He is assisted by Virginia Vincent and Jesse Gonzalez who were named the team's Sam Walton Co-Fellows.

Looking ahead, the TAMIU-SIFE Team will compete in Spring 2006 at one of the SIFE USA Regional Competitions held in 22 cities nationwide. A panel of prominent business leaders who will determine how well the students taught others the principles of free enterprise will judge each team's 24-minute multi-media presentation. During the event, the students also will have the chance to land jobs as they meet with recruiters at the Career Opportunity Fair. 

Regional Champions advance to the national competition at the 2006 SIFE USA National Exposition, sponsored by the Kansas City Business Community.  The SIFE National Champion will compete at the SIFE World Cup in the Fall 2006.

Founded in 1975 and active on more than 1800 college and university campuses in 31 countries, SIFE is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with businesses and higher education to provide college students the opportunity to make a difference and to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise.

For more information, call TAMIU at 956.326.2847; visit offices in the TAMIU Western Hemispheric Trade Center, room 222F, or e-mail vvincent@tamiu.edu or Gerardo Guerra Jr. at bluedevil00@students.tamiu.edu.  

For information on SIFE, contact SIFE World Headquarters at 1-800-677-SIFE, or visit sife.org.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu