Early on, members of the 22nd BBA+ Weekend class knew they had selected a community service project for their Business in Society class that would be both challenging and rewarding.
The class chose to support the Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala organization and set an ambitious fundraising goal of $10,000. The final tally for funds raised during multiple events as part of their Strengthening a Village’s Education, or SAVE, campaign was an impressive $10,035.00.
“We certainly faced some hurdles along the way,” said Lissett Perez, BBA+ Weekend Group 22 class president who is majoring in international business and management. “We did not get the response we had hoped for from corporate sponsors, but the team really pulled together, and we hosted a series of successful events and activities, including raffles, teddy bear sales, barbecues, and breakfasts. It all added up to help us reach our goal.”
An example of one such event: Class member Adelaide Parrino, who also is majoring in international business and management, planned and hosted a fun, fundraising evening at Bongos Cuban Café in Miami.
“I worked for a month to get Bongos to agree to donate 100 percent of the evening’s proceeds to our cause,” she said. “It was very rewarding to know that all of our effort is going to assist the children of Guatemala get a better education.”
Perez points out that Guatemala has one of the lowest literacy rates of any nation today—a fact that continues to motivate her class.
“This class really exemplifies what we mean when we say we are an international program. Thanks to their efforts and sponsorship, children in a remote Guatemalan village now will have much-needed books, clothing, and medical supplies.”
—Donald Roomes, BBA+ program director
“I really admire the way the students stuck to their guns and tackled each obstacle with energy and commitment,” said Donald Roomes, director of the BBA+ program. “This class really exemplifies what we mean when we say we are an international program. Thanks to their efforts and sponsorship, children in a remote Guatemalan village now will have much-needed books, clothing, and medical supplies.”
Fundraising is just part of this success story.
When the class learned that the Adopt-a-Village organization also needed new marketing materials, the students took on this challenge, too—and wrote and designed a new pamphlet providing an overview of the organization’s services and programs.
“Creating the new brochure gave the students an opportunity to use not just their organizational and management skills but their marketing and advertising skills as well,” said Robert Hogner, associate professor, Department of Management and International Business, coordinator of the college’s Civic Engagement Initiative, and course instructor. “The director of Adopt-a-Village was exceedingly impressed. She told me that the organization had been trying to develop new promotional materials for two years—and our class was able to do it in two months.”
This represents an ongoing commitment, not a one-time project.
With the success of the Adopt-a-Village project, the BBA+ Weekend class has also created a model for future classes looking to expand the view of business in society to include a more international perspective.
“One of the lessons learned by the group is that not only have they accomplished something worthwhile as a team, but also that, in doing so, they have established a best practice to pass on to the next group,” Roomes said. “Our goal is for each class to be a mentor for the class that follows.”
That said, support for the Guatemalan children will continue beyond the efforts of this group.
“We are looking forward to developing an ongoing relationship with Adopt-a-Village,” Hogner said. “Perhaps one of our student groups will be able to work directly in Guatemala some time in the near future.”
For more information about the BBA+ Weekend program, visit https://business.fiu.edu/undergraduate/professional-bba/. To learn more about the Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala organization, visit http://www.adoptavillage.com/.