The Valparaiso University SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) team was named a Regional Champion at the SIFE USA Regional Competition on March 28 in Chicago. The event is one of 12 regional competitions being held across the United States in March and April.

Valparaiso University is one of nearly 600 SIFE programs in the nation, where participating students use business concepts to develop community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.

During this academic year, the Valpo SIFE team organized five projects in the Valparaiso community, including a senior citizen computer class, offering free personalized computer training to area senior citizens.

The Valpo SIFE team also secured a grant to offer environmentally sustainable solutions to area businesses, including The Collective Edge and the Banta Center. This project helped reduce utility and water consumption, saving thousands of dollars for the organizations.

The Valpo SIFE team is made up of members from many colleges on campus, including engineering, business, arts and sciences, and the graduate school.

Each year, the SIFE program culminates in a series of competitions that provide a forum for teams to present the results of their projects, and to be evaluated by business leaders serving as judges. Teams compete first at the regional and national levels, and then at the international level, where the national champion teams from each country meet at the SIFE World Cup.

As a SIFE USA Regional Champion, the Valpo SIFE team now advances to the 2011 SIFE USA National Exposition in Minneapolis May 10-12.

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