Enactus project Tomorrowpreneurs work with low-income kids, students encouraged to volunteer

Tomorrowpreneurs team plays basketball with boys from low-income families. Wednesday, October 6, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Braister-Sturgis)
Tomorrowpreneurs team plays basketball with boys from low-income families. Wednesday, October 6, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Braister-Sturgis)

Last semester, Southern Adventist University’s Enactus chapter placed third in an Enactus national competition. This semester, more than 50 students are a part of the service-oriented student organization, which, according to Enactus President Jake Miller, senior management major, is the largest number of students the organization has had in many years. 

Miller said their biggest new project this year is Tomorrowpreneurs, and students can volunteer to take part in the project even if they are not in Enactus. 

Tomorrowpreneurs is partnered with Reach One Teach One, an organization that helps low-income kids in Chattanooga, according to co-project manager Brittany Braister-Sturgis, senior elementary education major. Braister-Sturgis said she, the other co-project manager Caleb Raymond, junior theology major, and the rest of the Tomorrowpreneurs team work with 11 to 14-year-old boys in Chattanooga on Mondays and Wednesdays. The team leaves campus around 5:45 p.m. and returns around 7:45 p.m.

Raymond said the team’s primary goals are to develop mentorships and relationships with the boys and help them develop a strong business base. To do so, they incorporate business principles in games. For example, the team plans to conduct a “fake economy,” which will culminate in a marketplace where the boys will be given items to sell to each other, according to Raymond. The team often plays basketball with the boys as well. 

Although one of Tomorrowpreneurs’ goals is to teach business principles, that is not the team’s main priority, according Braister-Sturgis.

“Our main priority isn’t business,” Braister-Sturgis said. “Our main priority is to develop relationships. And, if we can do that by teaching them business, that’s awesome. … Just the idea that through friendship you can really create lasting impressions — that is what we want. We really just want them to be able to see that just because they didn’t have the best deck of cards doesn’t mean that’s going to be the same situation for them grown up.” 

Raymond shares similar priorities with Braister-Sturgis.

“We want to empower the kids to believe that they can become the next billionaire in America, to believe that they can become the next Jerome Meadows. If you don’t know who that is, he put in the Ed Johnson statue in Chattanooga,” Raymond said. “[We want them] to believe they can be an artist, believe they can be an astronaut, believe they can be an entrepreneur. … We want to empower them.”

Raymond and Braister-Sturgis said they need student volunteers — not just business majors — who like playing basketball and could teach business and school principles in an informal setting. Braister-Sturgis said student volunteers will receive community service credit, even if they volunteer for only one evening. Students can sign up through MyAccess at southern.edu/serve. Miller said if students are interested in working with kids, small businesses or international projects, they should join Enactus next semester. To do so, they should email him soon at enactus@southern.edu. He added that all students are welcome to join, but Enactus currently needs graphic designers the most.

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