SIFE Team Visits Trinidad
By April C. Thornton
At Bowie State University, students are truly making a difference in their community. For instance, eight Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team led by Department of Management, Marketing and Public Administration Prof. James Dixon and accompanied by Department of Communications Prof. Marie Brown and BSU-TV videographer John Satterthwaite traveled to Port of Spain, Trinidad on January 8-13.
SIFE's mission is "To bring together the top leaders of today and tomorrow to create a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business." For the past two years, they have traveled to the East Bishop High School, Success Roman Catholic Primary Elementary School and San Juan Seventh-Day Adventist Primary School to discuss economic and entrepreneurial stability and international marketing.
Asked why SIFE chose to visit Trinidad, Dixon said, "We have two members who are from Trinidad and we wanted the children to have someone they can closely connect and interact with." He went on to say that our two members are great examples for the children "If I can do it, you can do it. If I can go to Bowie, then you can go to Bowie.
Asked what she took away from the trip, Brown said "The SIFE trip gave me an opportunity to see the conditions in which foreign students learn, as well as the conditions they have to learn under, " she said. "While there we only saw one male teacher, and the lack of male role models in the school system is a problem. I would do it again because it opened my eyes to other ways in which we can be a blessing to others."
BSU Senior Janelle Andrews and a Trinidadian said, "It was a wonderful feeling being back in Trinidad. It felt even better when the kids we worked with last year remembered us and the activities we taught them. That showed me that our seven days spent with them made a difference. I can't wait for next year, and neither can the students."
SIFE is involved in other programs such as personal financial literacy, Junior Achievement's Global Learning of the Business Enterprise (GLOBE) and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) of Bowie High School. The organization also has developed partnerships with Junior Achievement's Our City Program, aimed at third graders, Broad Acres Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md., Young Minds Focused on Entrepreneurship at Bowie High School and Sam's Club Environmental Sustainability Project.
SIFE members not only educated the Trinidadian children on ways to have a prosperous future, Dixon said, but they left memories that each child will cherish for a lifetime.