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Mmofra Trom Bead Project, a Bentley Student-Run Nonprofit Social Enterprise Wins First Place in Worldwide Challenge:Future Summit Competition
The Mmofra Trom Bead Project, a social enterprise managed entirely by Bentley students to support the Mmofra Trom Education Center in Ghana, was recently named first place winner of the “Youth4Youth” contest, sponsored by the Challenge: Future Summit 2012. At the worldwide summit, held at IEDC-Bled School of Management in Bled, Slovenia, from March 16 – 21, 2012, a group of 80 exceptional youth from 45 countries will join educators and business and political leaders to explore the global agenda and share their solutions to global challenges. Bentley junior Laura Garlo, co-chair of the Mmofra Trom Bead Project, was awarded a EUR 2500 scholarship to attend and present at the summit. Senior Alissa Palatiello, marketing chair of the project, helped craft materials for the contest.
Summit participants will come together to consider pressing challenges facing the world today, including the global youth unemployment crisis, social entrepreneurship, challenges in education, and the role of business in society, all under the theme of this year’s Summit: “Towards Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Future.”
From hundreds of submissions, 20 finalists were invited to submit projects, which were then judged on “engaging plans, resourceful research, realistic value chains and measurable social impact.” The judges commented about the Mmofra Trom Bead Project, “Great project that is shown to be working and already proves its impact. Well-structured and well implemented!”
Bentley Management Professor and the project’s faculty adviser Diane Kellogg, will attend the summit’s Educators Forum. The week prior to the summit, seniors Jenna Cavicchia project co-chair, and Crissi Mann, president of Bentley’s Ghana Alumni Association, will join Palatiello and Garlo in Ghana to work with the director of the Mmofra Trom Education Center to craft a five-year strategic plan for the project.
The Mmofra Trom Bead Project is a social enterprise designed by Bentley students to provide a sustainable, income-generating project to fund education for Ghanaian children. Through the project, children at the Mmofra Trom Education Center have turned an extra-curricular school activity of stringing bracelets made of recycled-glass beads from local artisans into an income-generating project for the vulnerable children at the center who are in need of funding to continue their secondary education. Bracelets are sold online and through select U.S. retailers.
In 2006, Bentley began working closely with The Mmofra Trom Education Center, located near Somanya, Ghana. The primary goal of the Center is to provide access to education, health care and job-training to each student regardless of their financial position. The Center’s curriculum challenges the children through an edification process that inspires both practical thinking and problem-solving development. By providing students with both an academic and vocational education, children are able to apply their knowledge to future endeavors that will promote personal maturity and contribute to the social and economic growth of Ghana. Bentley began its partnership with the Center to contribute to its intention of becoming self-sustaining, while furthering the education of Bentley students through service-learning projects.
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