After setback, students find a way to make a difference

UWM students Alycia Doxon and Chantel Teague aren’t giving up on efforts to make a difference in the world.

The two were part of UWM’s team in the Kapco Charitable Challenge, which gave students $1,000 to develop a project to improve their community. The challenge, which moves through several levels, is funded by Kapco Metal Stamping in Grafton in an effort to develop leadership and business skills in young people while helping local nonprofits. This is the first year UWM has participated.

While UWM’s team didn’t advance in the challenge, Doxon, a senior in the Lubar School of Business and a University Innovation Fellow, and Teague, a junior in the business school, decided to keep on working to find a good way to invest that $1,000 in doing good.

They found that opportunity in the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership and Research, which teamed with the Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship in sponsoring UWM’s Kapco Challenge team. Laurie Marks, executive director of the center and Ben Trager, the team adviser, introduced them to Jacarrie Carr, a UWM graduate student who was organizing a fashion show to raise money to buy holiday presents for children in need.

Carr, who runs a nonprofit called Jacarrie Kicks for Kids, has been collecting shoes and backpacks to distribute to children for the past three years. He had decided to expand his efforts to help the community this winter with a toy drive. When their initial Kapco project didn’t work out, Doxon and Teague decided to join forces in helping Carr promote the fashion show and organize a follow-up toy drive.

They’ve already used some of the Kapco money to do a video to promote the show (held Nov. 6) and the toy drive. They both worked at the fashion show – which raised more than $3,000 – and now are looking into social media ads, fliers and other ways to promote the toy drive. (A collection barrel for new and gently used toys is set up in the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership and Research, Union G28 on the ground floor of the Union and will be in place until Dec. 24.)

Both Teague and Doxon became involved in the Kapco Challenge because of their interest in community.

“It’s been a very positive experience for me to learn how to make a difference,” said Doxon. “I’ve learned a lot from trying to help an organization.”

“Nicole (Green, University Innovation Fellow, program coordinator at the Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship and one of the team’s advisers) approached me, and I saw it as a way to give back,” said Teague of the Kapco challenge. “Jacarrie has been working to accomplish things and meet different needs and it was a good fit with what we wanted to do.”

The Kapco Challenge gave the students an opportunity to be strategic in creating a business plan for social innovation, said Green. Though limited time prevented them from accomplishing all they wanted to do, she and Marks agreed they’d like to enter the challenge next year.

“I don’t like to drop out of things,” Doxon said about why she continued with the project even after the UWM team was eliminated. “Though it didn’t turn out the way we first thought, we have an opportunity to do something with that money. We still have $1,000 to make a difference in the community.”

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