Competition season is fast approaching for the University SIFE teams, and the teams are working hours a week to be prepared according to senior Jasmine Chavez, vice president of competition for University SIFE.
“It’s a lot of work; that’s why we meet five days a week,” she said.
According to Chavez, five speakers were chosen during the fall semester to represent JBU in the upcoming regional and national SIFE competitions. Now that spring is here, the pressure is on.
Chavez said that JBU is “recognized” at competition. “We take it seriously because of our reputation,” she said.
This year’s theme for competition comes from a motto that JBU students are familiar with.
“Last year’s theme was to Unite, Act and Impact. This year’s theme is Head, Heart and Hand, JBU’s motto,” said Chavez.
She said this theme was picked because they will be preparing whoever is affected by the results of their project “to be a whole person: head, heart and hand.”
Now that the speakers and the theme have been chosen, the SIFE teams move on to the next phase, scriptwriting.
“We are writing a script that tells of the unique kingdom work that SIFE is doing at JBU,” said Zac Freeman, assistant SIFE advisor.
According to Chavez, this year’s regional competition will be hosted in Rogers, Ark., and the teams will compete against 500-600 schools and deliver their presentation to more than 100 judges.
The judges will then evaluate the presentation on numerous criteria, including number of projects, number of people directly and indirectly impacted by the projects, location, online presence and more.
“[The presentation] has to be perfect,” said Chavez.
The four projects the teams will present this year are familiar ones: HOPE, ADVANCE Nicaragua, OPEN Doors, and Small Business Summit.
The five speakers chosen to represent JBU this year are seniors Kassie Keeter, Phil Ruppert and Estefania Verdin, and juniors Marcel Guadron
and Katherine Jaramillo.
Senior Amanda Abramovitz, vice president of Business Advisory Board (BAB) Engagement, said she loves seeing the students become involved and passionate about creating and developing projects that truly make an impact on God’s people.
“It’s so neat to see students do such amazing things across the world and hear stories of lives that have been changed as a direct result of what SIFE is doing,” she said.
Chavez also welcomed support from the JBU community saying that everyone is invited to watch the competitions. She knows that the student body and faculty will pull through for them, saying they usually take a “really big crowd over there.”
From regionals, it’s on to nationals, but Chavez, with humble confidence, said that JBU’s teams usually advance.
The competitions are more than simply impressing judges and upholding JBU’s reputation for these SIFE students, though. “It is our opportunity to share God’s work to the SIFE community at large,” said Freeman.
Freeman knows, though, that the individuals on the University SIFE teams also benefit from the work they are doing. “My favorite part is watching the students develop and take ownership. Not only are they doing God’s work, but God is doing a good work in them. I love that,” he said.