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VSU Enactus Finishes Third in National Competition

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University Enactus recently placed third at the Enactus United States 2023 National Exposition Early-Stage Competition at the University of Texas in Dallas.

The VSU Enactus team presented The Upcycling Project, an initiative that aims to bring awareness and solutions to the global discarded clothing epidemic — starting on VSU’s campus. Textile waste takes around 200 years to decompose, slowly seeping nitrous oxide and methane into the atmosphere. One garbage truck full of clothing is burned or dumped into a landfill every second one.

The Upcycle Project addresses two of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals — Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8) and Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12).

Through The Upcycle Project, the VSU Enactus students plan to deconstruct discarded clothing and upcycle the items to form usable products that have value and additional use. The concept offers students the opportunity to learn valuable skills, such as design, sewing, marketing, managing inventories and people, and sales.

Phase I of the project requires the students to establish their brand and create items that will be available for sale online and at pop-up shops on the VSU campus. Initial proceeds will be used to upgrade equipment, teach more students, and expand the project’s reach.

“After our expansion on campus is successful, we want to expand the project to our community partner Lowndes Associated Ministries to People Inc.,” said Peyton Avrett of Lake Park, Georgia, co-creator and leader of The Upcycle Project. She anticipates earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management this summer.

“We plan to have training classes for those interested in starting their own clothing brand or those interested in learning an employable skill. The alteration business is a niche that needs trained people, and we believe this project can get them started.”

In addition to competing and networking with Enactus teams from across the United States, VSU Enactus team members attended a career fair where they had an opportunity to build connections with business leaders and recruiting officers from major companies.

“The opportunity afforded to us by going to the National Exposition was an extremely rewarding experience,” said Andrew Jamarhl King II of Fitzgerald, Georgia, president of VSU Enactus. He anticipates earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Applied Economics and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management in December.

“The ability to network with fellow Enactus members allowed insight into potential projects that VSU Enactus could bring to our region. We were also able to provide feedback to their Enactus projects, which ultimately creates social benefit to the world. Coupled with this, the ability to network with current business leaders and recruiters was an extremely rewarding opportunity, as it gave us opportunities to see potential careers that could arise.”

During the Enactus United States 2023 Enactus National Exposition, the VSU Enactus team also won the Jack Shewmaker Spirit Award, which recognizes teams that model and demonstrate the Spirit of Enactus in their everyday interactions. The award was presented by Dan Shewmaker, son of the late Jack Shewmaker, former president and chief operating officer of Wal-Mart.

“I am so proud of this team,” said Jeffrie Shipley from VSU’s Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, a Sam Walton Fellow and VSU Enactus faculty advisor. “They saw a need in our community and worked, and worked, on it. They took ownership of this and developed it all the way. They have reinforced my belief that our students, with a little guidance, can develop solutions to problems — if we can get out of their way.”

Enactus is an international organization that connects student, academic, and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities.

Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement entrepreneurial projects around the globe. The experience not only changes lives, but it also helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world.

Active on the VSU campus for three decades, Enactus is open to all students — freshmen to graduate level — from all majors. Contact Jeffrie Shipley at jkshiple@valdosta.edu for more information.

 

Valdosta State University Enactus placed third at the Enactus United States 2023 Enactus National Exposition for the Early-Stage Competition April 18-22 at the University of Texas in Dallas. The presentation team, dressed in their traditional red blazers, are, from left to right, Lawan Jackson of Jacksonville, Florida, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Applied Economics in May; Kaden Marshall of Sylvester, Georgia, who anticipates earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management in 2024; Lauren Renew, a junior finance and marketing double major from Tifton, Georgia; Andrew Jamarhl King II of Fitzgerald, Georgia, who anticipates earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Applied Economics and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management in December 2023; Jeffrie Shipley, VSU Enactus advisor; Peyton Avrett of Lake Park, Georgia, who anticipates earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management this summer; and Latyvia Barnes, a junior accounting and management double major from Stockbridge, Georgia.

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