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Enactus: More than just a campus club

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Business 354 seemed just like any other class at Cosumnes River College as conversations hummed, punctuated by occasional laughter until computer information science Professor Markus Geissler indicated that class was ready to begin and the room fell quiet.

“I tell them at the beginning of the semester that this course is going to take a piece of their heart,” Geissler said.  “It’s not just sitting in a class listening to lecture. You do learn, but you do it by actually doing.”

Enactus is an international non-profit organization that can be found in 39 countries with 62,000 student members.

Geissler described his students as “an absolutely outstanding group of very diverse students.”

Originally it was known as SIFE, Students in Free Enterprise, but last semester the club changed their name to Enactus because “it had some negative connotations in some of the languages,” Geissler said.  The name Enactus stems from the phrase “entrepreneurship in action for the greater good, namely us.”

Each year Enactus teams present their projects in various levels of competition. Last year CRC Enactus won a Regional Championship and had the opportunity to compete in the National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo.

CRC Enactus is not necessarily a business club nor is it all about the competition. It’s about making a difference.

“Enactus exists to take the power of entrepreneurship and use it to better the community,” Geissler said. “It’s a worldwide organization helping wherever people need help using business skills.”

How does this happen, you may ask yourself.

CRC Enactus is involved in multiple projects this semester including partnering with the Elk Grove Food Bank, which serves 36,000 meals per month, Geissler said. They are currently working on setting up a canned food drive to benefit the food bank.

Their newest project they are involved in this semester is the Grace House, said Bill Salsbury, president and chief executive officer of CRC Enactus.

Salsbury said that the Grace House helps the homeless transition to a job and to having a home.
Grace House helps people get back on their feet, Salsbury said. “Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis is really interested in maintaining this program. It’s such a vital tool in helping the people in the community.”

Gage Keifer, 21, vice president and chief operating officer of CRC Enactus agreed.

“The Grace House is entrepreneurship at its finest,” Keifer said.

If entrepreneurship or business is not your forte, you can still be a successful part of Enactus.
Keifer said Enactus needs people with a wide range of skill sets, from public speaking to the use of technology.

“It’s beneficial for anybody that feels an interest and a deep devotion to their community and wanting to help,” Keifer said.

For more information visit enactus.org

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Enactus: More than just a campus club