Press Release for Thursday, December 8, 2005

Raines High Wins 'I Choose! 'T.E.A.C.H.' Program Competition

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

Raines High School recently won the first annual “I Choose! ‘T.E.A.C.H.’” Program Competition, sponsored by Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) at the University of North Florida. Raines was awarded $2,000 by SIFE to be used towards a start-up business or to be applied toward scholarships. Jean Ribault High School won second place and took home $500, while third place and $250 was awarded to the Jacksonville Job Corps.

The “I Choose! ‘T.E.A.C.H.’” (Teaching, Empowering, Achieving, Challenging and Helping) Program was an eight week project designed and implemented by UNF SIFE. Students received individualized training about the free enterprise system through workshops, interactive hands-on activities and real life situations. Topics covered marketing, finance, writing a business plan and the free enterprise system. The program culminated with the development of unique and innovative entrepreneurial business plans from each school, as well as a presentation of each project proposal to a panel of judges from the business community.

Raines High student Breankia Williams said learning about entrepreneurship first hand was a major plus. “We now get a chance to run a business ourselves and to be a part of the management. When we get out in the real world, we’ll already know how to make it work.”

The efforts by the UNF SIFE in promoting entrepreneurial education for economically-challenged and at-risk students is an ongoing effort and has been recognized at the national and regional levels. The UNF SIFE organization won a spot in the Top 20 SIFE teams in the nation this year. The UNF organization has also been regional SIFE champions for eight consecutive years and first runner-up in the National SIFE Competition for seven years.

The UNF SIFE student organization began in 1996 and is an affiliate of Students In Free Enterprise, a global, non-profit organization, which is present on more than 1,800 university campuses in more than 40 countries. SIFE offers students the tools to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills by learning and teaching the free enterprise system.