Unlike many other organizations around the world, UMKC’s Enactus group values a healthy competition. It tries to challenge students to go the extra mile, think outside the box and present multiple solutions for solving real world problems.
Its main goal is simple yet ambitious: to create a positive change in the world. For their Enactus National Competition in May, this team will compete against the best of the best to see how well they have accomplished the task.
“Enactus teams from across the nation come together to compete and see who’s done the most good for their community and the planet,” UMKC Enactus Director of Marketing and Recruitment Lindsey Temaat said. “Last year we were fourth in the nation.”
Judges will evaluate the time and energy UMKC Enactus have invested in their project in May during competition week.
This team will present two dynamic projects to a panel of judges that are aimed at impacting our community and the people in it. Their first project helps reduce unnecessary food waste. UMKC Enactus found that 40% of food in the United States is wasted. Using their innovative minds, they created an app that functions to solve this distribution issue.
“Through our Feed KC App, we’re connecting restaurants, cafeterias, food vendors, those who have that extra food that’s fresh and ready to go to people who need it,” UMKC Enactus President Salem Habte said. “We’ve been able to feed 6,000 people in Kansas City.”
“We have about three practices a week,” UMKC Enactus Vice President of Operations Emily Testerman said. “In those practices, we work on editing the script to make sure that it is constantly evolving as our project evolves.”
In addition to Feed KC, the team will showcase Generation Green. This initiative focuses on reducing plastic waste. They used 100% recycled plastic to create durable and colorful white boards. The boards are made out of plastic lids that come from locally produced Shatto Milk jugs.
“The teachers in our area realized supplies weren’t lasting, specifically white boards,” Habte said. “The teachers we talked to had to keep purchasing new ones, even though they’ve run through their allocated budget, which we thought was unfair.”
UMKC Enactus is determined to put in the extra work in order to stand out against the rest of the competition. They workshop their presentation across the Kansas City area. The feedback they receive works to enhance their project, and the team values corrective criticism. UMKC Enactus recognizes it must be open to change if it is to “secure the bag” come competition week.
“We really build a culture of ‘If someone gives you advice, take it.’” Testerman said. “Look at it from an objective standpoint and evaluate all different alternatives and see which one’s best for the team.”
The countdown for May 12 has begun for UMKC Enactus. This national competition is about sharing with the judges and the audiences the positive things they’ve done for their community over the past year.
“We’re really proud to say we’re aiming for No. 1. We want to be the team that represents this entire country on a global stage,” Temaat said.
The competition will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center and is free to the public.