U of O's SIFE team places first in national competition

Release Date: 7/7/2002

Clarksville, Ark. ---The University of the Ozarks' Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team beat out more than 800 SIFE teams from across the country to win the national "Make A Difference" competition during the organization's National Exposition held in Kansas City in May.

Ozarks' "Make A Difference" project was voted best in the nation by a panel of judges, making it the first SIFE team in Arkansas to win the national competition. The Ozarks' "Make A Difference" project was held last October and involved helping Hispanic women in the Clarksville community improve their employment opportunities. SIFE students coordinated week-long classes that included such things as immigration law, interviewing skills, putting together a resume, and budgeting tips and techniques to help them start their own small business.
   
"The goal of the project was to improve their confidence and give them the skills to enter the work force," said Ozarks SIFE Advisor Dr. Rickey Casey. "Our students did a good job of identifying a need and then putting the project together. The national award is an honor for our students for making a true difference in their community."
   
Ozarks' SIFE team, which has won the regional team competition for the past eight years, also finished first runnerup in its league in the national competition, placing it among the top 32 SIFE teams in the United States.
   
Deborah Estep, assistant director of the international studies program, also serves as advisor of the Ozarks SIFE team, which had 64 members this past year.