From a field of regional champion teams from 156 colleges and universities, Belmont University (Nashville, TN) has been named the 2012 SIFE USA National Champion and earned the right to represent the United States at the 2012 SIFE World Cup, September 30 – October 2 in Washington, D.C.
Through SIFE, students around the country conduct community outreach projects improving the quality of life and standard of living of those in need. 2800 students were joined in Kansas City by more than 800 business leaders and recruiters from companies such as BIC, Walmart, KPMG, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Hallmark, MOM Brands, The Schwan Food Company and many others who evaluated the students’ outreach projects.
Among the award-winning outreach projects conducted by the Belmont SIFE team was Spring Back Recycling (http://www.springbackrecycling.com/), a non-profit that was formed to break down mattresses and build up lives. Formed in 2011 as a partnership between the SIFE team and Belmont Church, Spring Back provides sustainable employment and small business training for formerly homeless or incarcerated men while striving to protect the environment by offering retailers, institutions, and consumers an economical alternative to dumping used mattresses in landfills. In the past year, Spring Back has recycled 9600 mattresses, reconstituting more than 240,000 pounds of cotton, wood, foam and metal.
SIFE USA’s National Champion team will tour the country this summer sponsored by Wells Fargo, who will also support Belmont’s representation of the United States at the SIFE World Cup.
Other top four finalists include:
Second Place: Flagler College, Saint Augustine, FL
Third Place: Brigham Young University – Hawaii, Laie, HI
Fourth Place: Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA
According to a statement, “SIFE is an international non-profit organization that brings together the leaders of today and tomorrow to create a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business. Founded in 1975, SIFE has 57,000 students participating in programs on more than 1,500 college and university campuses in 39 countries.” When it was founded SIFE stood for Students in Free Enterprise.