A team of students that helped raise money for the Devereux Foundation took home the top prize at the new Social Entrepreneurship Competition. The real winners however, were the children who will benefit from their efforts.
“Knights Rescue,” comprised of business students Daisy Daimwood, Sharon Moore, Taylor Traback and Kelsey White, raised funds for the organization which helps persons with emotional, behavioral and developmental disabilities transition from troubled lives to lives filled with personal accomplishment and hope.
The money they raised will be used to purchase and assemble “welcome bags” which will be given to incoming foster children who use the services provided by Devereux. The bags will include items such as toiletries, toys and school supplies.
“We all consider ourselves to be fortunate to be students in the business college. We selected to work with Devereux because we wanted to give these children something to make a rough part in their lives easier,” said Sharon Moore.
The team held events, including a baked good sale, to raise money and exceeded their goal by 200 percent. Additionally, they had a long term sustainable impact on their client. While promoting their cause, they met a woman that decided to donate a house in downtown Orlando. Devereux plans to use the house as a new downtown location.
The Social Entrepreneurship Competition is designed for students to showcase the service learning projects they completed in the Cornerstone Course. Each year, approximately 400 teams of students complete projects that have an economic impact of more than $1 million in fundraising, donations acquired and labor contributed.
The competition provides students with the opportunity to practice the foundational skills related to entrepreneurial thinking, communication, teamwork, diversity, creativity, ethics and change and present their projects in front of a panel of judges.
The winning team was enrolled in Nasser Kutkut’s Cornerstone lab and was awarded $700. Each of the winners and finalists received a trophy. The other finalist teams won $100 each.
The other three teams that made it to the finals were: “Big Green” comprised of David Lynch, David Riendeau, Niven Mody and Simmy Patel; “Prestige,” which included Idaliz Gonzalez, Chris Krochmal, Justin Salas, Taylor Sharroulet, Cheng Li and Michael Santos and “The Four Hopeful Knights,” comprised of Tim Luebbert, Kristine Ajapokyan, Alyssa Tuenos and Ariel Anaya.
The event was made possible due to the generous support of Jim Balaschak, ‘86 and ‘92, and his wife Debbie, ‘88. They wish to encourage students to learn the value of volunteering now and hope that the experiences that they have in the Cornerstone program will continue after graduation.
That has been the case for Dan Samuels, ‘08. Samuels is the assistant director of development for Devereux and worked closely with the winning team. While a student, he was so touched by the Cornerstone program, he decided to work at a nonprofit full-time. He continues his work with the Cornerstone program and UCF students.