KSU Students in Free Enterprise teach business skills to at−risk youth

Dozens of metro teenagers who’ve led tough lives are getting help taking a big step toward a…

Georgia (Apr 25, 2006) — KSU Students in Free Enterprise teach business skills to at−risk youth

Terri Thornton


Contact: Terri Thornton‚ 404−932−4347 or territhornton@mindspring.com

Dozens of metro teenagers who’ve led tough lives are getting help taking a big step toward a positive future‚ thanks to some Kennesaw State University business students.

KSU’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team‚ based at the Coles College of Business‚ is teaching business and entrepreneurial skills to 40 students from Devereux Georgia‚ a behavioral treatment center for young adults facing emotional and psychological challenges. SIFE will also sponsor a business plan competition April 27‚ where the teens can showcase their ideas.

“More than 70 KSU students have worked with Devereux residents for six weeks‚ teaching them business skills and‚ coaching them to write preliminary business plans‚” said SIFE Advisor and Sam Walton Free Enterprise Fellow Gary Roberts‚ Ph.D. “In addition to teaching them how to start and operate a successful small business‚ the SIFE team is teaching them that success is a choice.”

Part of the funding for the event came from the KSU team’s prize money for being named a Champion in the SIFE USA Regional Competition. The team was the only one in the Southeast to win all six individual topic competitions at the event.

SIFE’s other community service projects included fundraising for Hurricane Katrina victims‚ planning a North American Consortium for Entrepreneurship symposium and hosting a Merit Badge University for Boy Scouts. SIFE also held luncheons for elementary and secondary school teachers and tutored low and moderate income entrepreneurs enrolled in a microenterprise program.

SIFE has recruited several organizations to assist in the Devereux outreach‚ including the Coles College of Business‚ Kennesaw and Acworth Business Associations‚ The Edge‚ The Cobb Small Business Development Center and the KSU Graduate Student Association. Business plan competition sponsors include the Student Activities and Budget Advisory Committee‚ KSU Student Life‚ KSU Graduate Student Association‚ the Coles College‚ Frito−Lay and the Marcus Foundation. Several local businesspeople will judge the competition.

Devereux Georgia is a 187−bed facility located near Kennesaw State University. It offers male and female youth individualized treatment programs based on strengths and potential. SIFE plans to stay in touch with the program participants as they re−enter their communities.

The “I Choose Business Plan Competition” will be held on the KSU campus on April 27 from 11:30 to 1:30.

Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of 18‚500 from 132 countries. The third largest state university out of 35 institutions in the University System of Georgia‚ KSU offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu