Enactus at Florida International University (FIU) is a business organization that works with academic advisors and business leaders to implement community improvement projects, both locally and globally. Armed with business savvy and a commitment to entrepreneurial action, members of the two-year-old Enactus at FIU chapter have brought sustainable improvements to the world through several projects including advancing financial literacy, creating a business model to help orphanages in Colombia and Thailand, and helping to develop projects in Haiti such as a women-led farming community and providing clean water.
During the Spring 2014 semester, the Enactus at FIU team helped organize a soccer tournament to benefit Music4Autism, an organization founded by Enactus member Patricia Kayser, a sophomore College of Business marketing major. One out of 68 children in the U.S is diagnosed with autism. The mission of Music4Autism is to enhance the quality of life of autistic children through music interaction. More importantly, the organization seeks to spread autism awareness in the community by promoting various events and activities.
Kayser saw the positive impact that music had on her brother, who had been diagnosed with autism, and decided to work towards helping others achieve similar benefits. Music4Autism gives autistic children and their parents the opportunity to “hang out” and interact with each other in a safe environment at various locations in Miami and Doral including schools and community parks. At these “hangouts,” every child is encouraged to participate and create music under the guidance of friendly musician volunteers.
Fundraiser succeeds beyond expectations.
On Saturday, April 12, about 150 participants and 30 FIU volunteers participated in a soccer tournament at FIU Recreational Field. In addition to serving as a fundraiser, the soccer tournament was one of a series of events and activities aimed at providing networking opportunities focused on the arts and sports for the autistic community. Local businesses donated raffle prizes, food, tents and other items. Enactus organizers set their sights on raising $1,000, yet the combination of hard work and strong community participation brought total funds raised for Music4Autism to $2,800 – nearly triple the original goal.
The two organizations hope to continue to work together to heighten awareness of autism and create a safe environments for autistic children and their families. Enactus students will also partner with other organizations to create positive change over Summer 2014 and in the next academic year.
Enactus member Anarid Adriano is a freshman at the College of Business majoring in International Business.