The Enactus Wayland Baptist University team recently claimed regional championship honors at the Enactus United States Regional Competition in Dallas. The regional competition is one of 10 which are being held throughout the United States in March and April.
According to Dr. Sammy Van Hoose, an associate professor of business at Wayland and the group’s faculty sponsor, the 10 regions are not named and teams are free to compete in any region they choose. Wayland’s team competed against 33 other teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, and by winning the regional championship, earned the right to advance to the national competition later in the year.
According to its Website, www.enactus.org, the organization is “a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world.”
Enactus comes from the words “entrepreneurial,” “action” and “us.”
Wayland team members are: Charles Carr (president), Christine Borges, Maria Carrillo, Rosaura Luevano, Celia Juarez and Phoung Voung.
Van Hoose said the organization did a number of fundraisers through the course of the year to raise money to attend the competition and put in a total of approximately 13,000 volunteer hours in service to Plainview and the surrounding communities. In the process, they worked with small businesses, the Plainview Chamber of Commerce and other municipal and business organizations.
Van Hoose said that as part of the competition, the team highlighted three of its projects from the current year.
The first was a series of computer competency courses in which students tutored area residents in needs ranging from computer basics to more advanced computer operations.
The second project involved team members working with a family farm in rural Hale County, helping them upgrade their computer and internet system. As part of the process, the farmers purchased some agricultural software and the students installed it and helped implement it. Van Hoose said that in addition to saving the farmers approximately $100,000 in their farming operation, it also allowed them to save approximately 3 million gallons of water a month.
Finally, Van Hoose said the team highlighted its drug drop-off program. Through that program, area residents are allowed to bring any type of medication or pharmaceutical to a collection point and leave it, no questions asked. The process is overseen by Wayland Baptist University police who then work with the Plainview Police Department to destroy the material in a way that is EPA approved. The sponsor explained that by taking advantage of the drop-off program, drugs can be disposed of in a way that prevents them from leaching into the water system or in other ways damaging the environment. While the program started out slowly a few years ago, Van Hoose said over the past year Enactus has taken in more than 900 pounds of drugs and medication.
As regional champions, the team advances to the 2013 Enactus U.S. national Exposition in Kansas City, Mo., May 21-23.