Coker College's Enactus Team Named a Regional Champion and Will Compete at National Exposition

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Hartsville, S.C. – April 21, 2017  –  Coker College’s Enactus team was named a regional champion at the Enactus United States Regional Competition held on March 31, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

The event is one of five regional competitions and one virtual competition held throughout the country in the spring. As an Enactus U.S. regional champion, the Coker College team will advance to compete at the Enactus U.S. National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo., May 21-23.

Enactus is an international organization that connects student, academic and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. Coker is one of more than 450 active Enactus teams in the United States and currently has 38 participating students.

The regional competition gives teams the chance to represent the collective impact of their community outreach efforts through a combined video and oral presentation. Projects are evaluated by business leaders, recruiters and sponsors who rank them on how successful they are at using entrepreneurial concepts to improve the quality of life and standard of living for those in need.

During this academic year, Coker College’s Enactus program is involved with a variety of projects:

  • Rent-a-Fridge allows Coker students to rent a mini-fridge during the academic year, providing a more affordable and convenient option for students as well as recurring revenues to support ongoing Enactus projects.

  • Aquaponics, a sustainable ecosystem where fish and plants are grown together in one environment, has benefited local nonprofit organizations and expanded all the way to Malawi this past year.

  • Kids Can partners with Carolina’s Kids, a local nonprofit, to enhance funding needs and nutritional values of the organization’s weekend food bag initiative for local children.

  • Summer Business Academy, sponsored by Wells Fargo, jump-starts high schoolers’ college education by earning three credit hours at Coker College, completely free of charge for all participants.

  • Ubuntu-Blox, which is still in the experimental stages, is a wooden press that turns recyclables into sturdy bricks that can then be used for construction purposes, including building houses.

“I’m excited to see the progress Coker Enactus has made with our projects and the incredible impact our students have in our community and around the world,” said Andy Burkemper, Director of the Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurship at Coker College and adviser to Coker Enactus.  “Our team director, Gabe Mens, does a fantastic job of building the right team environment that encourages our students to see opportunities, take action, and improve others' lives through the power of social entrepreneurship.  Along the way, Enactus students develop the leadership, project management, communication, and problem-solving skills that are highly sought after in their future careers."

The Coker Enactus team that traveled to Washington for the competition included Alexa Baughman, Bethany Prochnow, Brandon Mullins, Colin Caristi, Destany Gause, Ed Leitgeb, Eion Riley, Emmy Hood, Ethan Cairns, Gabriel Castro, Henrik Hellbe, Jamez Taylor, Jesse Sternberg, João Victor Santos, Katie Jordan, Kendra Lambert, Kyle Ocker, Luke Elliott, Meaghan Stevens, Olivia Avery, Paxton Caristi, Sydney Shull, Taylor Gaskins, Walker Barfield and Zane Vanhook.

The six presenters for the regional competition were João Victor Santos, Taylor Gaskins, Paxton Caristi, Kyle Ocker, Sydney Shull and Henrik Hellbe.

Additional Coker Enactus team members include Alvaro Urena, Anthony Malik, Austin Anderson, Bradly Lucas, Bryson Conner, Evan Bachman, Gary Baker, John Thomas Peagler, Matthew Kron, Nicholas Perrot, RJ Williams, Suzanna Mickey.

“We’re grateful for the successful outcome at the regional competition and are looking forward to competing against the top U.S. Enactus teams at the national competition on May 21,” said Burkemper.

For more information about Coker College’s Enactus program, please contact Gabriel Mens at or 843-383-8361.



Coker College is a student-focused, private liberal arts college located in Hartsville, South Carolina. Coker combines round table, discussion-based learning with hands-on experiences to encourage active participation in and out of the classroom. A supportive, close-knit community prepares Coker students with the confidence and practical life skills they need to reach their personal best, in college and beyond.

Founded in 1908, Coker is a bachelor’s and master’s degree-granting institution and competes in 24 NCAA Division II sports. Coker is ranked among the "Best Colleges" in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review, and by Washington Monthly as one of the Southeast's "Best Bang for the Buck" colleges.