Enactus team named regional champs; Earns $1,000 award

Photo courtesy of Cuba McKenzie
Photo courtesy of Cuba McKenzie

KEARNEY – The Enactus team at the University of Nebraska at Kearney took top honors in regional competition hosted recently in Anaheim, Calif., and will compete at national competition in St. Louis May 15-17.

UNK Enactus, a business organization open to all students, was among nearly 150 teams nationwide that took part in six regional competitions. Teams were judged based on community enrichment projects they completed.

The 25-member UNK team will compete against 100 teams at nationals, presenting its work in helping people of need in Kearney and surrounding communities.

Enactus students at UNK participate in several projects, including New Venture Adventure Day for high school students to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills. They also operate coffee shop Brewed Awakening, the first student business on campus. UNK Enactus also played a key role in recycling and sustainability projects on campus.

“Enactus has allowed me the opportunity to expand on the business concepts learned in the classroom through activities created by the team,” said Stephanie Duennerman of Amherst, project leader. “I have enhanced my teamwork and leadership skills.”

This year, individual team members spent 100 to 500 hours volunteering and implementing Enactus projects. The UNK team has made it to national competition 11 of 13 years since Susan Jensen founded the team in 2003.

“The Enactus Team has a strong passion for outreach service related to youth entrepreneurship education and community development,” said Shawn Kaskie, team adviser and director of the UNK Center for Rural Research and Development.

Members of the qualifying team, listed alphabetically by hometown, include:
Albion – Jesse Zwiener
Amherst – Stephanie and Sam Duennerman
Bellevue – James Knights
Cedar Rapids – Kelsey Martinsen
Grand Island – Austin Partridge
Kearney – Ryan Clark, Tianna Engen, Parker Follett, Abbey Rhodes, Jonathon Vasquez
Lexington – Alam Alvarez
Norfolk – Luke Fennessy
North Platte – Louie Harper and Lauren Wagner
Silver Creek – McKenzie Cuba
Wilcox – Katelyn Ziebarth
Associate Team Adviser – Dustin Favinger


Writer: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454, gottulatm@unk.edu
Source: Shawn Kaskie, Center for Rural Research and Development Director, 308.865.8135