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Business Students Recognized for Taking their Knowledge Outside the Classroom

March 24, 2008
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Business Students RecognizedA group of UM business students have been recognized for taking steps to ensure that a group of women in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood possess the skills and knowledge to be successful in today’s struggling economy. The Women’s Commission this month presented undergraduates Cassandra Davilmar, Henry Holaday, and Itziar Diez-Canedo with the Louise P. Mills Award, which is given to students who have made an outstanding contribution to the enhancement of women.

Led by Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and the Hyperion Council, the honored students volunteered participated in a project called FANM Panye Chaje, where they traveled weekly to Little Haiti to present workshops teaching skills and knowledge such as pricing, product placement, location, and record-keeping. The lessons aim to target needs in a way that was both informative and understandable. The goal of the project is to “reach out to the community and utilize our business knowledge in order to have a positive impact on the City of Miami.”

The program is continuing and stretches to include the Jamaica Project which “aims to enhance the business skills of entrepreneurs working in the Caribbean nation using many of the same teaching methods and tools of FANM.”  The project includes three phases which culminate in a student trip to the island to work face-to-face with participants.

Using business knowledge to give back is a growing trend as social entrepreneurship programs crop up in universities around the country. The School of Business will begin offering freshmen a course focused on social entrepreneurship next year.

According to Priscilla Rivera, an academic advisor in the school of business, “Cassandra, Henry and Itziar are collectively responsible for the planning and implementation of the FANM project for women in Little Haiti. Each one was an integral part of its success. The project was monumental and extremely time-consuming, and they each rose to the challenge with enthusiasm. It is difficult to measure the impact that these young people have had on the lives of women in Little Haiti and soon in Jamaica, but I know that women have been empowered to become independent and enterprising members of our community.”

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