In a world riddled with the effects of global warming, pollution, and unsustainable resource management, organizations like Enactus (ENtrepreneurial ACTion and US) provide a community for goal-oriented individuals desiring to make their world a better place.
According to enactusunitedstates.org, the United States Enactus program was founded in 1975, and the program is one of 36 international Enactus organizations. 317 universities and over 5,000 college students participate in the Enactus program, making Enactus the single largest country operation in the United States. The Pittsburg State University Enactus chapter is led by president Tucker Jessip, sophomore in business management, and advisor Chelsey Decker, the coordinator of academic support for the Kelce Graduate School of Business.
“Enactus has been around for about 40 years, give or take,” Jessip said. “We used to be called SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), and then back in 2012 there was a world-wide name change to Enactus. The EN of Enactus stands for ‘entrepreneurial,’ basically just thinking of new, innovative ways to take on problems that we see in our community and the world, whatever we want to accomplish. The ACT stands for ‘action,’ basically we actively create projects and create new products to help people. The US just stands for ‘us,’ everyone in Enactus. It’s an entrepreneurial, project-based organization with a very big sustainability focus.”
The emphasis on sustainability has led Enactus to partner with several different organizations across Pittsburg State’s campus, such as Students for Sustainability.
“The UN (United Nations) in 2015 created the seventeen sustainability goals to achieve by 2030,” Jessip said. “Any project that we do has to be tied to at least one of the sustainability goals that the UN made.”
According to Jessip, the organization had a very large following in the past that completed a lot of different projects.
“The past few years we’ve been pretty dormant,” Jessip said. “We died off pretty quick in 2018 and COVID kept us in the mud. 2021 was pretty much our first year getting back in the roll of things. It’s been fun. Way back in the past we used to be one of the largest organizations on campus. We had a store that sold various items to PSU students. Probably the biggest project that Enactus here has ever done was a past team that took a hydroponic system to Haiti, and they provided fresh water to Haitian people. That was probably the biggest project. We won a lot of awards that year.
In addition to the many projects in the program’s history, Pittsburg State’s Enactus chapter has also conducted more current events.
“Just recently we started doing a couple more projects,” Jessip said. “This past Christmas Enactus raised funds to help purchase bikes for kids in the Crawford County area, and then we are also currently working on a project called ‘The Future Now Finance.” It’s kind of like a financing event for high school students at Pittsburg High School, and it’s just an event to teach them finances and how to spend their money, stuff like that.”
Students interested in Enactus can visit the organization’s Gorilla Engage page for more information.