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Enactus Wins Jack Shewmaker Award at National Expo

A short documentary chronicling life-changing projects by Enactus students earned the team a Jack Shewmaker Enactus Spirit Award at the Enactus’ U.S. National Exposition on May 17.

It is an award named after a late Walmart executive who strongly supported educational and entrepreneurial causes. The award goes to teams who demonstrate strong commitment to bettering the lives of others through their efforts. Seven students and Enactus Adviser Dr. Issam Ghazzawi accepted a trophy and $2,000 in St. Louis.

“It is a big honor and a very significant award that many universities compete for,” Ghazzawi said.

Enactus is a national organization that shows students how to apply business concepts to community outreach projects that transform lives and shape a more sustainable world.

The university’s team in March planted fruit and vegetable seedlings at Barfield Elementary School in Pomona, part of a campaign to promote healthy living and stop childhood obesity. Students returned to the City of Children orphanage in Mexico in February to clean up and reseed the legacy garden Enactus built two years ago. And Enactus students in November and December collected 2,600 pounds of clothing during its “Clothing for Dignity and Success Project” – a drive benefiting recent graduates of Pangasinan State University in the Philippines to use for job hunting or work.

During the summer, the team worked with high school students through the REACH program, which gives teens a glimpse of the business world and exposure to college life.

They organized several field trips for the children, including the Metropolitan Water District and Southern California Edison’s Energy Education Center. Following the REACH program, 98 percent of students participating said they had a desire to attend college.

Enactus’ efforts paid off during the USA Regional Competition in April in Anaheim, where La Verne was named a regional champion. The University competed against Enactus teams from California, Arizona and Washington, with more than 400 universities represented.

Teams from seven regions, including La Verne’s, went on to compete at the nationals, and the national winner, La Sierra University, will represent the U.S. in the Enactus World Cup in September in Toronto, Canada.

Not only has the program earned the University of La Verne numerous honors, it has also led to great job offers for team members.

Several students received job offers at this year’s national exposition, which included a job fair featuring executives with large organizations such as Unilever, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Pharmavite and Hershey’s Chocolate.

Schwan Food Company offered business administration major Giuseppe Galioto either a position in management or marketing at the expo.

He served as project manager for the Barfield Elementary School project.

“During our presentation, just the amount of children who were excited to learn about the topic and how enthusiastic they were to answer our questions, made me feel like I was making a difference,” he said.

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