July 26, 2014
High-Tech Charity Work Lifts Jindal's Enactus Team to New Heights
July 11, 2014
The 11-member Enactus team and advisor Dr. Jeanne Sluder (right) from the Naveen Jindal School of Management traveled to Cincinnati for the national competition. The team finished in the top 20 and won $2,700 in prizes.
Acts of community kindness took the Jindal School’s Enactus team a long way recently — further than it had ever been before in its annual national competition.
For the first time, the team reached the semifinals at the 2014 Enactus United States National Exposition. The team’s 11 members demonstrated the group’s 16 service projects, which totaled 6,116 hours and affected more than 70,000 lives.
Out of the 202 teams at the Cincinnati event, the Naveen Jindal School of Management group finished in the top 20, winning $2,700 in prizes.
“This was an exceptional competition team. They were so proud of all the work our organization had done throughout the year, and they were passionate about telling our story,” said Dr. Jeanne Sluder, senior lecturer and advisor to the group.
“We all hope to do the same type of work again this year and go back together next year.”
Much of this past year’s charity work by the group’s 80-plus members came together thanks to their high-tech skills.
“This was an exceptional competition team. They were so proud of the all work our organization had done throughout the year, and they were passionate about telling our story.”
Early in the 2013-14 academic year, the group wanted to do a service project to help the town of West, Texas, still recovering from a devastating fertilizer plant explosion that occurred in April 2013. But West already had been flooded with donations of food, bottled water and other supplies.
Then students found another way to get involved — redesigning a website to help long-term recovery efforts.
“They needed the technical support these students could provide,” Sluder said. “They needed people to work on the website.”
For the West Long-Term Recovery website, team members — many of them studying information technology — built search engine optimization tools, used analytics to determine the website’s effectiveness and designed ads to reach out to more donors and volunteers.
In other projects, students used social media marketing to help raise nearly $25,000 for Heroes on the Water, a charity that helps wounded veterans.
And they built search engine optimization tools for a charity, Living for Zachary, that raises awareness about sudden cardiac arrest in youths.
In addition to the tech projects, Enactus members collected 5,000 pounds of food, demonstrated proper dental hygiene to children and provided workforce training to low-income women.
Enactus member Monika Patel was grateful for the opportunity to compete at the national level.
“We did our best to serve the community in all possible ways with the limited resources available,” Patel said. “Everyone spoke from their heart, which touched the judges and helped us get into the top 20.”