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UNG Enactus team named national finalist

Enactus Nationals
The UNG Enactus Team. From left to right, first row: Maria Palacios, Khanh Tran, Kristin Xiong, Keely Jabloner, Oasis (seeing eye dog), Efren Chavez, Liliam Ramos-Herrera, Sally Tang. Second row: Patricia Bautista, Katie Simmons, Katherine Guzman, Tuwanda Wilson, Frank Herrera, Jialin "Callie" Yuan, Asia Thomas, Fernando Gonzalez. Third row: Cody Aselton, Robert Newsome, Garfield Anderson. Not pictured: William Anthony and Nestor Campos.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) Enactus team in the Mike Cottrell College of Business was named a national finalist among 230 colleges and universities competing at the Enactus United States National Championship held March 31 through April 3 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati.

The UNG Enactus team finished first runner up to eventual national champion Texas State University in the quarterfinal round, earning a top-30 finish overall. UNG Enactus also won the Jack Shewmaker Enactus Spirit Award, which recognizes a team that has demonstrated strong commitment to bettering the lives of others through their efforts, and has done so with the utmost passion and enthusiasm for furthering the mission and vision of their team and the global Enactus organization.

"One of the great things about Enactus is its focus on entrepreneurial thought," said Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business. "As we meet with leaders in the community, one of the comments we hear most often is that businesses expect our graduates to think creatively and have strong analytical skills. Enactus provides a number of great opportunities for students to share their creativity and to do so with an engaged business audience."

During the 2013-14 academic year, UNG Enactus received $3,500 in grants from Enactus partners such as Campbell Soup Co., Sam's Club and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.  Those funds are used on specific projects related to needs in international communities. In the Campbell's Let's Can Hunger Project Partnership , which focuses on reducing hunger, the UNG Enactus team held canned food drives and taught workshops on and off campus about financial literacy and smart shopping. As part of the Sam's Club Step Up for Small Business Project Partnership, students worked with a Hispanic small business in Gainesville to address marketing and sales needs. UNG Enactus students also partnered with The Community Helping Place in Dahlonega as part of Wal-Mart's Women's Economic Empowerment Project Partnership to teach women success and money management skills to empower them in their daily lives.

Through these programs, the UNG Enactus team was named one of three national finalists out of 73 teams in Wal-Mart's Women's Empowerment Project Partnership program. Also, the UNG Enactus team was named one of eight national finalists out of 150 teams in the Campbell's Let's Can Hunger Project Partnership program.

In total at the event, the UNG Enactus team brought home three trophies, two plaques and $5,000 in prize money.

"We're very proud of our placement in this year's event," said Katie Simmons, associate dean of student services in the Mike Cottrell College of Business. "UNG Enactus students work throughout the year to use entrepreneurial thought and action to make a positive impact throughout the world."

During the event, team members were also invited to attend the Career and Internship Fair, network with Fortune 50 executives at the Top to Future Top Forum, and enjoy the Orange Experience sponsored by Home Depot. Through their participation in these events, two students received job offers and seven students have new internship opportunities with leading business organizations.

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