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Enactus Receives $1,500 Grant

Published Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Southwest Minnesota State University Enactus team has received a $1,500 grant from Unilever to complete its Bright Future project.

The project centers around helping individuals with a troubled past, including, but not limited to, those with a criminal record.

“Those individuals struggle with unemployment due to a lack of skills and the stigma associated with a record. As a consequence, they are often homeless,” said Denise Gochenouer, assistant professor of marketing and the Enactus advisor. “We feel that focusing on teaching these individuals how to properly purchase, consume and prepare meals will empower them to lead more healthy and successful lifestyles. The biggest barriers for our target audience include a lack of education in nutrition, preparation of healthy meals, financial constraints and lack of stable housing.”

Other aspects of the Bright Future project include helping individuals identify potential employers, assisting with the job application process and helping to sharpen interviewing skills.

To date, Enactus assistance has helped a dozen individuals find jobs, said Gochenouer. Two individuals in the Bright Future program are now enrolled in college.

Housing, too, is an issue, said Gochenouer. She said Enactus will in the near future partner with Life Right, a Christian-based housing and reform facility, to establish a housing facility in Marshall.

“Our anticipated outcomes are getting people to achieve the goals they have set for themselves when they graduate from our program,” said Gochenouer. “Once they have obtained these skills, then they will be able to manager their personal income, provide for the family and prepare nutritious meals for their family. It is hoped that they can then train incoming clients the same skill-set they learned from us to help sustain the program and provide hope for incoming clients.”

Enactus, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise, is one of the more active groups on campus. It promotes education of the free enterprise system, the entrepreneurial spirit, and assisting with projects that help people on campus, in their communities, and beyond.

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