Enactus team places top 8 at nationals, will focus on sustainability projects next

Written by: 
Hyram Yarbro

The BYU-Hawaii Enactus Presentation Team placed in the top 8 at the Enactus National Exposition in Kansas City, Missouri on May 21-23, 2017, losing the top spot to John Brown University.

The team submitted a video recording of the 17-minute presentation outlining each of the Enactus projects, and on April 3 they participated in a live Q&A video call with official judges, which resulted in them advancing to the national competition. The team received the results in the afternoon and discovered they earned the title of regional champions.

Katherine Christensen, president of the BYUH Enactus chapter, said Enactus has changed the way she looks at the world. She said, “I have seen students from all over the world change people's lives in their home countries while they're still studying here in school!

“I've seen CEOs from corporate-level companies recognize the leaders BYUH produces and offer them jobs! I've seen the excitement in little kid's faces at the opportunity to go to school.”

As part of the agenda for the new school year, Christensen, a senior from Idaho majoring in TESOL and studying entrepreneurship, said Enactus plans to take “up new opportunities to improve the world” by focusing on sustainable projects designed to collaborate with the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. The goals include developments in clean water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.

Kamalanai “Pono” Cummings, a freshman from Laie studying entrepreneurship, said, “When we first started practicing, a lot of us were skeptical of how everything was going to come together.

“[However], performing our first read-through of our script for our regionals competition and seeing how driven, inspired, and how much hard work everyone has put in to be where we are has changed everyone's feelings.”

Sosaia Fiefia, a senior from Tonga studying information technology, said one of the reasons the team has accomplished so much is because of the dedicated mentors standing behind them. “I feel like there's a lot to learn, especially when you have great mentors like Richie Norton, Jason Earl, David Waite, PJ Rogers, and others. I'm blessed to be hanging out with them every night.

“I strongly believe that if we continue to sacrifice our time, efforts, and talent, we'll be rewarded from on high.”

Aloha Martin, a freshman from France studying business management, said being a member of Enactus is very time consuming but has its benefits. “The project in Africa attracted me the most. I wanted to help Sery Kone’s project, Well Africa, to fight child slavery and help people there to live a better life and live free,” she said. Sery Kone is an alumnus of BYUH.

Fiefia said, “If a student really wants the most out of their time here in college, they should definitely join Enactus.

“If they join, they're looking forward to doing greater things in life, whether it's a humanitarian project in India, fighting human trafficking in Africa, or simply using entrepreneurial skills to help a future family be self-reliant. In fact, it's by revelation that students from this institution will go forth as genuine gold and do great things in the world.”

Martin concluded, “Students from everywhere in the world come here to learn and come back to their country to help, lead, and inspire. This is what BYUH is about, and Enactus helps us realize it.”

According to Enactus.org, the organization believes in “investing in students who take entrepreneurial action creates a better world for us all.”

Represented in 36 countries with over 69,000 students taking action every year, Enactus works with students to create and expand projects using business and entrepreneurship principles to globally empower others, according to its website.

According to Christensen, the BYUH team will be helping the winning team as it advances to the World Cup Competition in September.

Date Published: 
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Last Edited: 
Saturday, July 8, 2017