University of Charleston students take time to give back - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

University of Charleston students take time to give back

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  • Deadly shooting at a large party in Beckley

    Man dies after a Shooting during a Party outside of Beckley, Now the Search is On for the Suspect

    Man dies after a Shooting during a Party outside of Beckley, Now the Search is On for the Suspect

    Sunday, September 14 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-09-14 19:10:52 GMT
    The Raleigh County Sheriff's office responded to a shooting at a party just outside of Beckley early Sunday morning. As a result of these gunshots, Roland Howard Frazier, 23, was hit and later died.
    The Raleigh County Sheriff's office responded to a shooting at a party just outside of Beckley early Sunday morning. As a result of these gunshots, Roland Howard Frazier, 23, was hit and later died.
  • UPDATE: Beckley Police catch suspects involved in shooting on Summers Street

    UPDATE: Beckley Police catch suspects involved in shooting on Summers Street

    Sunday, September 14 2014 2:48 PM EDT2014-09-14 18:48:51 GMT
    After 19 year-old Tyrell Smith was shot twice on his hip and wrist, the suspects have been found. Detective Bragg with the Beckley Police Department said they quickly got tips as to where the suspects were. Once they found the vehicle near Antonio street, there was a short pursuit, then police caught the suspects.
    After 19 year-old Tyrell Smith was shot twice on his hip and wrist, the suspects have been found. Detective Bragg with the Beckley Police Department said they quickly got tips as to where the suspects were. Once they found the vehicle near Antonio street, there was a short pursuit, then police caught the suspects.
  • A Tazewell County Mother Says Eric Smith Will Not Be Forgotten 10 Months After His Disappearance

    A Tazewell County Mother Says Eric Smith Will Not Be Forgotten 10 Months After His Disappearance

    Saturday, September 13 2014 8:51 PM EDT2014-09-14 00:51:17 GMT
    It's been ten months since a man was reported missing in TazewellCounty.Police said Eric Smith, a General Mine Foreman at Buchanan Mine No. 1 in Buchanan County,Virginia,was reported missing onNovember 8, 2013after he failed to return home from a hunting trip.Eric Smith's mother, Dreama Smith, said she will never let Eric be forgotten.Dreama said, "We pray everyday that something will open."Cedar Bluff Police Chief, David Mills, said they are constantly checking leads.Mills said, "Everyday so...
    It's been ten months since a man was reported missing in TazewellCounty.Police said Eric Smith, a General Mine Foreman at Buchanan Mine No. 1 in Buchanan County,Virginia,was reported missing onNovember 8, 2013after he failed to return home from a hunting trip.Eric Smith's mother, Dreama Smith, said she will never let Eric be forgotten.Dreama said, "We pray everyday that something will open."Cedar Bluff Police Chief, David Mills, said they are constantly checking leads.Mills said, "Everyday so...
  • EducationMore>>

  • WLU offers new masters degree

    WLU offers new masters degree

    Sunday, September 14 2014 2:00 PM EDT2014-09-14 18:00:14 GMT
    At West Liberty University, planning makes perfect — three years, to be exact in this case. After planning and perfecting the curriculum, a master of professional studies degree is now available at WLU.
    At West Liberty University, planning makes perfect — three years, to be exact in this case. After planning and perfecting the curriculum, a master of professional studies degree is now available at WLU.

  • Marshall University pilots ‘global' medical program

    Marshall University pilots ‘global' medical program

    Sunday, September 14 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-09-14 16:00:14 GMT
    With the start of a new program at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine comes the beginning of a new “global” medical emphasis.
    With the start of a new program at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine comes the beginning of a new “global” medical emphasis.
  • Charles Town teacher to build school

    Charles Town teacher to build school

    Saturday, September 13 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-09-13 12:00:13 GMT
    Nancy SturmNancy Sturm
    Charles Town resident Nancy Sturm has devoted her life to learning.
    Charles Town resident Nancy Sturm has devoted her life to learning.
  • BusinessBusinessMore>>

  • ASBDC to honor small business coach

    ASBDC to honor small business coach

    Sunday, September 14 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-09-14 20:00:15 GMT
    America's Small Business Development Centers recently announced James Epling has been selected as the West Virginia 2014 State Star. The ASBDC State Star honors outstanding employees from Small Business Development Centers.
    America's Small Business Development Centers recently announced James Epling has been selected as the West Virginia 2014 State Star. The ASBDC State Star honors outstanding employees from Small Business Development Centers.

  • Frontier, Dish to award small towns

    Frontier, Dish to award small towns

    Sunday, September 14 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-09-14 19:00:16 GMT
    Frontier Communications will help revitalize small towns through “America's Best Communities,” an $8.5 million, nationwide prize competition.
    Frontier Communications will help revitalize small towns through “America's Best Communities,” an $8.5 million, nationwide prize competition.
  • Writer, author, scuba diver calls WV home, again

    Writer, author, scuba diver calls WV home, again

    Sunday, September 14 2014 1:00 PM EDT2014-09-14 17:00:12 GMT
    Eric Douglas is a journalist, author and … scuba diver? That's right. A graduate of Marshall University, Douglas received a degree in journalism. However, originally from Cross Lanes, he moved to Orange County, California to pursue a career he wouldn't have been able to in the Mountain State.
    Eric Douglas is a journalist, author and … scuba diver? That's right. A graduate of Marshall University, Douglas received a degree in journalism. However, originally from Cross Lanes, he moved to Orange County, California to pursue a career he wouldn't have been able to in the Mountain State.

At the University of Charleston, Enactus team members Sa Le, Adam DeBriae, Marc Jn-louis, Jordan Wallace and Rhys Batt do much more than merely keep up with their course loads.

In addition to studying for tests and completing class work, DeBriae said the Enactus team has done at least 3,000 hours worth of service.

The type of service work the student organization formerly known as SIFE focuses on meets needs both on the campus and in the community.

"We look at the environmental, social and economic impact," Batt said. "So any projects we look at, we try to meet those three criteria. 

"It's developing sustainability solutions based on that need and based on our resources."

Working with variety

The group describes itself as "a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world."

Because Enactus works with both the campus and community, Batt said the people the team comes in contact with are as varied as the many projects.

"We work with members from the community," he said. "We work with our local administration and staff here on campus to develop these projects and we work on them all year long."

Some of the projects include working with Charleston's Boys and Girls Club, creating recycling programs and working with local businesses to reduce energy costs and improve the bottom line.

One of Le's favorite projects is work the team does with the Boys and Girls Club. Through the project, the Enactus team members teach diversity and skills that eventually enable the children to graduate high school.

Learning new things

Because of the many obligations and responsibilities Enactus members take on in addition to a regular college load, everyone agrees time management is a skill learned early.

"You learn time management pretty quickly," Batt said.

DeBriae said it's very similar to juggling a job. 

"It's almost like having a full-time job in addition to being a student," he said.

The hours especially add up when competition time draws closer. Batt said the team members develop a presentation based on the projects they've done and then go to a regional and national competition each year to present against different teams from across the country who are doing similar projects. 

Getting ready for competitions requires lots of preparation and hours spent rehearsing the presentation, DeBriae said.

"There's so many things we have to do," he said. "We have to get our whole 17-minute script together for our presentation — it's completely rehearsed. 

"We have to do a year-end annual report that has an outline of all our projects and what we did. We have to do our technology piece with the keynote, so that has to be all timed to a tee."

While getting ready for competition, DeBriae said some nights the lights didn't go off until 2 or 3 a.m. He said practices sometimes began at 9 or 10 p.m., after having already put in a full school day.

"It's crazy but it teaches you so much time management that's going to be so useful to you in future endeavors and down the road," he said. "That's what you're going to have to do if you have a family … have a job. You come home from work all day (and) you have to take care of this and that. It's helping us better prepare for our future, I feel."

This year, there were more than 200 teams that the UC Enactus team competed against. The team advanced through the quarter final and fell short of advancing to the semi-final round. Batt said for the past several years, the UC team has been in the top 40.

Favorite take-aways

Through the many hours and the project, Jn-louis said motivation comes from other members.

"We get the motivation from one another," he said. "(From us) having the same passion. It's just a natural thing."

For him, helping others is the ultimate satisfaction.

"We have been able to make a difference and help other people (like) they helped me when I was a kid," he said. "I feel like I'm giving back and doing what I should be doing."

Wallace said she most enjoys interacting with students from a variety of majors as well as developing better teamworking skills while learning how to contribute in an individual's own way.

Meeting people and having new projects every semester is what Le  looks forward to, while DeBriae said the experiences he has gained makes him feel better exposed to things he might not have been exposed to otherwise. 

Because the university doesn't provide any direct funding, everything happens through outside grants and sources, DeBriae said. Last year, DeBriae applied for a Lowe's grant from Lowe's Community Improvement and received $1,500 toward a project with the Boys and Girls Club. The team received an additional $5,000 when the project won national awards for the project proposal.

"Being a science major, I would never know anything about a grant if I wasn't involved in Enactus," he said. "I feel like I'm better well-rounded and more desirable by future employers, as well as just more educated as a whole (that) more than just sitting in a lecture can provide me."

DeBriae said he also enjoys getting to take skills learned in the classroom and applying them in a practical sense.

Batt said knowing he's part of something bigger is his biggest take-away from the Enactus experience.

"Not only are we working together as a team here at our school to make a huge change on our campus and in our community to affect lives and improve lives, but we're part of a great organization that's working around the country and around the world," he said. "(Enactus is) an international organization and people across the globe are doing projects just like what we're doing and the total impact is what motivates me each day."

Despite the long hours and juggling of numerous different responsibilities, all agree the lessons, experiences and skills learned far outweigh the lost hours of sleep.

"It's challenging but I think we're all up to the challenge," DeBriae said.