SIFE Team Advances to National Competition

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – April 7, 2011 – In its inaugural year, Coker College’s Students in Free Enterprise won two titles at the regional SIFE competition in New York City this week:  Regional Champion and Regional Rookie of the Year, earning an award of $1,000 and the opportunity to compete for the national title next month in Minneapolis.

“I could not be more proud of Coker’s team,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt, who was present for the competition.  “Not only have they exceeded the expectations of our campus community and of the generous individuals who provided the resources to launch our nascent program, they exceeded their own expectations.  It’s in moments like these when students truly begin to realize the capacity they have to make a positive difference for others.”

“While we are a new organization to Coker, we’re clearly off to an amazing start,” said Neil Sickendick, who directs Coker’s SIFE program.  The seventeen students on Coker’s SIFE team competed with teams from 32 institutions, including some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities, and were the only rookie team in this regional competition that advanced to the national competition.

Coker’s winning presentation, a 24-minute multimedia production, featured five projects they supported in Hartsville this year:  Kalmia Gardens, a downtown business incubator; Get Fit, a healthy living program that worked with second grade students; SAT Prep, a program to help college-bound high school students prepare for college admissions examinations; and Finance 199, a financial literacy course for both evening and day students at Coker.

Six students served on the presentation team: Ashley Meador, Amanda Warner, Caleb Dunlop, Noah Lascell, Timothy Strickland and Christopher Dixon.  The other team members included Lindsey Allen, Qaadir Hicks, Vatrick Thompson, Diego Polo, Juan Vallejo, Tyler Senecal, Adam Bedard, Jessica Covington, James Sweeney, Cody Ellison and Timothy Barrett.  They were assisted by faculty advisor Brianna Douglas.

“The regional competition was eye opening,” said Warner. “As a team, we know we are doing great things, but actually going to the competition and sharing it with everyone really solidified the feeling of accomplishment. It has inspired us to continue our hard work and do even better projects in the future.”

Earlier this year, this team wrote a successful proposal for a $50,000 grant to support initiatives to help local businesses and was benefited by generous private support that totaled more than $30,000.

Connecting generations of leaders to create a better world, SIFE is an international business and higher education network with programs in 39 countries and more than 1,800 teams in the U.S.  It works to improve lives, strengthen communities and develop socially responsible business leaders.

Every country that operates a SIFE program is eligible to organize a national competition for the teams in their country. The National Champion team from each country is then invited to compete at the SIFE World Cup.


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

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