After being named champions at the Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Regional Competition in Atlanta, Southern’s SIFE team had the chance to present at the National Exposition in Kansas City, Missouri, May 22-24.
This is the fourth consecutive year Southern’s team made it to this level of competition. This time, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport covered their travel fees in honor of the team’s work on solar panels.
“The Chattanooga Airport has taken a strong stand for sustainability and we believe it is critical for organizations like the airport and Southern Adventist University to provide thought leadership in pushing our industries to recognize our impact on the environment and to find common sense solutions to mitigate those impacts,” said Terry Hart, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority. “Southern’s SIFE team did just that, and it was an honor to recognize the student leaders for their work on this project.”
During the exposition in Kansas City, they and about 150 other teams were divided into 20 leagues that competed to get into the semi-finals and then finals round.
Christina Whary, ’12, SIFE president for this last academic year, was one of the students who traveled to the competition. She said one of the reasons she joined the team in the first place is because SIFE’s mission relates to Adventist beliefs on stewardship. Southern’s team even incorporates their Christian beliefs by taking on projects prayerfully.
“[Competition] encourages us to do the best we can because we know we’ll be representing our team, our university, and our God.”
The SIFE team presented four projects at the national exposition: the installation of solar panels on campus, single stream recycling, GenLink, and Dream Discover Do. GenLink creates temporary jobs in the community for students, and Dream Discover Do provides workshops where students can meet with various entrepreneurship experts.
“We have devoted team members who work hard to get the projects and results we can present on,” Christina said.
Some of our sister institutions also qualified for nationals. La Sierra University, after being named champions at their regional competition, qualified for the semi-final round at nationals. Andrews University, who sent a student representative to nationals, was named champions at their regional competition as well.
We are proud of our team and sister schools’ teams for earning the chance to compete at the national level.