by Betsy Wright
From the moment I met Professor Briana Cicero-Johns at a transfer orientation, she urged me to join SIFE. I had never heard of SIFE and was not sure what is was, but my interest was piqued. I went online to the SIFE website, but was still a little hazy about the exact concept of the organization as a whole. Not until the first meeting did I finally understand what SIFE was and how much impact it had!
That first meeting sold me on joining SIFE at UC. Sitting and listening to a group of people talk about what they did and what they continued to do all throughout the community was not only amazing, but also inspiring. This group of people care so much about the people of West Virginia. It was exciting to find a group of people who felt the need to address issues in the community and make a difference.
Since the first meeting, I have become more involved in not just my personal project working with the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association, but with the SIFE presentation team. Once a year SIFE teams from across the world are invited to compete in a regional competition, which continues to a national competition and then a world championship. Each team puts together a presentation of the projects that had the most impact in their community. Being one of the eight presenters for this year’s team has been quite an experience. As a whole, the team memorizes a 24-minute script along with a technology piece and presents this in front of a group of judges. This process is the final culmination of all the hard work done throughout the year.
This year our SIFE team has won our third regional championship and will continue on to nationals! The experience of seeing all the SIFE teams come together at the regional competition was a moving experience. Realizing that there are teams just like ours all over the world trying to make a difference was a uplifting thought. I can only image the powerful experience that our team will have at the national championship.
SIFE has changed the world, our community and me. Through my involvement in this remarkable organization I have found a path in life that I am excited to begin!
To learn more about UC’s SIFE team, click here.