Written by Hilbert College graduate, Lauren Carlin (’19)
President – Enactus
President – Phi Beta Lambda
Vice President – Young Americans for Freedom
Secretary – Franciscan Spirit Club
Over my last four years at Hilbert College I have been involved with a variety of different student clubs and organizations. One is Enactus which is an international organization that stands for ENtrepreneurial ACTion through US. Enactus is dedicated to creating a better and more sustainable world!
Through my time in Enactus I have volunteered both locally and internationally. We have worked within the Buffalo community with the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program by creating educational workshops in the areas of budgeting, communication, and job placement to help refugee students receive a job for a sustainable life here.
In 2017, we teamed up with Akron Varsity Softball on the “Pack-A-Plane” project to collect school and recreational supplies, which were then airlifted from the Niagara Falls Airforce Base to the Dominican Republic. In total, more than 5,400 lbs. of goods, valued at over $13,000 were delivered to the community that we served called Bani, Dominican Republic. This was my first service abroad experience and the most rewarding part was seeing the children’s smiles and hearing their laughter even though they are impoverished and malnourished. Although I was there to teach and help the children, it was their innocent spirit which taught and inspired me to realize how blessed I am with the ability to be able to help others.
The following year through a connection I had at my church Hilbert Enactus formed a relationship with Ann Marie Zon the founder of the “Nicaraguan Mission Project.” We supported this organization by collecting household items and packing donations in containers in Buffalo for shipment to those in need in Nicaragua. During Winter Break 2018, Hilbert College Enactus had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua and stay at a children’s home called Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, meaning “our little brothers and sisters.” Over the course of the trip we organized and completed a variety of projects for the NPH community, such as creating beaded necklaces and bracelets, delivering care packages to seniors in a nursing home, bringing school supplies to the children, and digging up a large vegetable garden. One of the projects that I led was called “Lollipops for Learners” where I educated the children on how to create, market, and sell lollipops that were donated by Parkside Candy. A few days after the lesson we sold the lollipops at a beach to locals and tourists where all the profit came back to help NPH. This mission trip showed me how grateful, thankful, and blessed I am to be able to serve God and his people.
This past year Enactus students and I arranged a project called “Buffalo Serves Bani” which was a Co-Ed volleyball tournament hosted at Hilbert that was to generate funding for Hogar De Ninas Hijas de la Altagracia, a girls orphanage in the Dominican Republic. In January 2019 Enactus students participated in a service trip where all net proceeds from the event were used to create a volleyball court, fund other recreational equipment, and to help improve the overall quality of life in the community we served. During our one week journey there we completed several legacy projects as well as creating tie pillows, building structures, and teaching educational workshops to women entrepreneurs. Next year, Enactus already has plans to continue its relationship in the Dominican Republic by funding for the drilling of a water well.
None of this could have been possible without the support and encouragement of Professor Dan Roland and Dr. Amy Smith. During my time with Hilbert College Enactus I am happy and humbled to say have impacted hundreds of people and helped to make this world a better place.