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April 23, 2003
OSWEGO -- In only its second year, SUNY Oswego's chapter of Students in Free Enterprise came home from the regional competition in New York City April 7 with the top prize. Next, the team will compete at the SIFE USA National Exposition from May 11 to 13 in Kansas City, Mo.
Students in the organization work as teams throughout the year on educational outreach projects that help others better understand the principles of free enterprise.
Four students representing Oswego -- Brian Smith, Lynnette Mayers, Adam Fitscher and Victoria Baldwin -- traveled to New York City to make the half-hour PowerPoint presentation to a panel of judges made up of executives from companies supporting SIFE.
Among the 10 projects they presented were educational presentations that explained credit cards to children and 401k retirement plans to college students, said Smith, who is president of SIFE this year.
In "Credit Card Awareness for Kids," Smith said, "kids learn how to use a credit card by buying our candy on their SIFE credit card, and later learn that they do have to pay the money back. The kids get into debt, and then we explain responsible use."
Last year the new student group earned the Rookie of the Year award at the SIFE regional competition as well as first runner-up in its league of seven, coming home with more awards than Harvard University.
Most of the 22 students in Oswego's SIFE are in the School of Business, but the organization is open to students in all majors, according to Dr. Paula Bobrowski, adviser to the group and an associate professor of marketing and management at Oswego.
Teams meet regularly with a mentor and adviser to critique presentations, practice and discuss ideas. Members can receive academic credit for their work.
Steve Yuspa, a senior marketing major who started the Oswego chapter of SIFE last year and is vice president this year, estimated about 15 of this year's members would attend the national event in Kansas City in May.
"You get to meet a network of executives," he said, setting his sights on his next goal. "Hopefully, I'll find a job."
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