SIFE team brings grant money, education to local abuse victims

Posted March 02, 2011

When ACU seniors Jon Pratt and Staci Adams heard about an opportunity to help their community and gain valuable grant-writing experience, they jumped at the chance. The news came from the ACU chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), and the students' work earned them one of 50 grants from the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation Community Improvement Challenge to help local abuse victims.

Pratt spoke with Dr. Darryl Jinkerson, associate professor of management in the College of Business Administration and a sponsor of ACU's SIFE team, about finding an area non-profit organization to use the grant money. The team partnered with New Horizons, an Abilene organization providing care and services for children and youth who have suffered trauma.

ACU's SIFE team was one of 146 teams across the nation that applied for a grant. The $1200 check they received will allow New Horizons to furnish its lounge areas, where teenagers who have faced abuse and neglect can relax, do homework and spend time with friends in a safe environment.

The ACU students in SIFE have also committed to serve as tutors for some of the children housed at New Horizons. This project is one of several ways they are making a difference in the Abilene community.

In March, these students will present the results of their work in front of business leaders from all over the country at a regional SIFE competition in Chicago, Ill.

"These students get to speak about their real-world business experience in front of executives from companies like Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Frito-Lay, as well as compete for the trophy," says Jinkerson. "Some score interviews and jobs at these conferences they would not have had otherwise. This is a great opportunity."