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Release date: Jan.30, 2006
SIFE Sponsoring Financial Planning Seminar, Activities to Promote Business

PLAINVIEW – Planning for the future is a daunting task for many, especially when it involves money. To that end, the Students in Free Enterprise team at Wayland Baptist University is sponsoring a Financial Planning Seminar for Feb. 2, slated for 6:30 p.m. in Nunn Auditorium.

              “We want to talk about personal finances and how to get control of them,” said Sam Van Hoose, sponsor for the WBU SIFE team and a Sam Walton Fellow. “We hope we can show people they can get control of their finances and get out of debt. For our students, we want them to know what it really means to be in debt.”

              The seminar is open to anyone, and Van Hoose said the SIFE team is encouraging families with financial difficulties to attend the free seminar. The organization is also trying to partner with other agencies in Plainview and the area to get the financial advice into the hands of anyone who may need it.

              Will Husky, a graduate of Wayland who now works with Investment Centers of America at Hale County State Bank, will be presenting the seminar.

              The seminar is just one of several programs the SIFE team sponsors during the school year to fulfill its objectives of promoting business and financial literacy. According to SIFE president Stephanie Clements, the group has five pillars and all projects must involve at least one pillar, though the Wayland group tries to incorporate as many as possible. The pillars are ethics, personal success, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and sustainability.

              “We get together and brainstorm ideas on projects we can do that will help the community, and we try to get out into the community and find out what the needs are,” Clements said.

              Clements, a business major from Plainview, took over the presidency this past fall for the SIFE team, a group of newcomers now since losing their complete roster to graduation in April 2005. The experience has been an eye-opener for Clements.

              “I’m getting more of an idea of what managers go through, trying to manage events and delegate and trying to get everyone motivated,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the networking and the inside look at corporate America.”

              The new group has just as much zeal for the SIFE initiatives, says Van Hoose, and is working to keep the tradition of excellence that Wayland’s SIFE program has enjoyed for the past several years.

              “We’ve been working with the Plainview High School business club to do an economics fair for the grade schools, and we’ve worked with the Junior SIFE team at Lockney to help teach younger kids the skills as well,” he said. “We’re really hoping to reach kids at an early age with good information and get them familiar with SIFE.”

              Clements notes that while SIFE’s programs have a decidedly business feel to them, the group is not limited to business majors at Wayland alone. In fact, the team welcomes members with interest in areas that complement business, she said, noting that the group’s vice president, Micah Evans, is a religion major. Randy Blodgett serves as secretary/treasurer.

              While they work to regrow the group, the current SIFE team is forging ahead with several projects. Besides the financial planning seminar, the group will be leading a seminar at Plainview High on Feb. 9 titled “Sticky Money,” teaching students the “fine print” of credit card applications and the pitfalls of credit debt. The message will be repeated to the Wayland student body at some point as well.

              The team also has slated a Small Business Seminar for Feb. 21, led by Steve Anderson of the Small Business Development Center in Lubbock. That session will share tips on starting a small business and running it successfully. It is free and open to the public as well.

              Besides their project list, Van Hoose and Clements are busy preparing for a trip to Chicago on Feb. 6-7. As one of 20 schools invited by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank to visit, the Wayland contingency will present a brief program about their projects completed last year, especially as they relate to financial literacy. SIFE received a grant in 2004 from the bank to fund such projects and were invited to report back to the bank’s leaders about the success.

              They plan to apply for the grant again, allowing them to continue projects such as Sticky Money, the Disney Hot Shot Business game with elementary schools and a special emphasis on Women in Business.