Student-led start-ups help The Fairbanks improve Grant Beach

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 28, 2016 — The Fairbanks is now partnering with the Drury University Enactus team to address a number of pressing issues such as food insecurity, transportation needs and employment opportunities in the Grant Beach Neighborhood.

Through this partnership with Drury’s student entrepreneurship team, The Fairbanks is launching innovative projects such as a locally sourced healthy food subscription service, a bike rental shop and even a worm farm. These projects expand access to healthy food, transportation, and job opportunities for residents of the Grant Beach Neighborhood.

The list of projects includes:

Grocery Store – The grocery store at The Fairbanks creates a food source in the Grant Beach Neighborhood, which directly addresses food insecurities in one of the largest food deserts in Springfield. This store will provide Grant Beach residents with fresh produce, food essentials and other necessities at an affordable cost.

Bike Rental Shop – The Fairbanks bike rental shop offers affordable means of transportation to residents of the Grant Beach Neighborhood. Area residents who lack transportation are now able to rent bicycles at an affordable rate of $2 per hour.

Rental bikes ready for use hang in the bike shop at The Fairbanks.

Rental bikes ready for use hang in the bike shop at The Fairbanks.

Worm & Mushroom Farms – The Fairbanks has launched mushroom and fertilizer businesses to generate revenue and create jobs for residents in Grant Beach. Currently, The Fairbanks grows, harvests and sells portobello and oyster mushrooms to local restaurants and Springfield residents. The Fairbanks is also home to approximately 1,000 worms. These worms aid in composting waste and produce nutrient-rich soil. The nutrient fertilizer and worm tea will be sold to local community gardens and home gardeners in Springfield. The maintenance of both the mushrooms and worms will provide employment opportunities to those in the Grant Beach neighborhood.

Members of Drury’s Enactus Team separate worms from compost in the “worm farm” located in the basement of The Fairbanks.

Members of Drury’s Enactus Team separate worms from compost in the “worm farm” located in the basement of The Fairbanks.

Healthy Food Subscription Service – The Nourished Neighbors project at The Fairbanks provides Grant Beach residents with fresh, healthy and affordable food from local farmers through a food subscription service. Nourished Neighbors packages and delivers meals purchased by subscribers throughout the Springfield area at a premium price. The proceeds from meals purchased at a premium price allows Nourished Neighbors to sell subscription meals at a reduced price to residents of the Grant Beach Neighborhood.


About The Fairbanks

Launched in 2013, The Fairbanks aims to build a center for community betterment initiatives in the Grant Beach Neighborhood. The Fairbanks addresses community needs through collaborative partnerships with organizations that positively influence residents’ needs. Its goal is to benefit kids and adults from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds through social, physical and educational activities. Ultimately, it hopes to improve quality of life in the Grant Beach Neighborhood and make Springfield a better place to live. For more information, visit thefairbankssgf.com.

About Drury’s Enactus Team

Since 1997, Drury Enactus has empowered communities throughout the world facing economic, environmental and social barriers by implementing entrepreneurial, sustainable programs. These programs have had a meaningful impact on thousands of people in Springfield, throughout the United States, and on virtually every continent around the globe.

Attached images: Members of Drury’s Enactus Team separate worms from compost in the “worm farm” located in the basement of The Fairbanks. / Rental bikes ready for use hang in the bike shop at The Fairbanks.


Media Contact: Dr. John Taylor, Director, Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship: (417) 873-6356 or jtaylor03@drury.edu.

Drury Enactus team helps launch high-end resale boutique

Drury Enactus continues its partnership with Art Inspired for a new business enterprise: Inspired Boutique is a resale store offering a variety of upscale retail items including name-brand clothing, shoes, purses, accessories and high-quality furniture. All proceeds are used to meet the needs of individuals served by Abilities First.

Inspired Boutique offers a variety of upscale retail items including name brand clothing, shoes, purses, accessories and high-quality furniture. The store also provides employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.

In collaboration with Abilities First, Drury Enactus (formerly known as SIFE) helped develop Art Inspired four years ago to provide meaningful employment to individuals with disabilities. Art Inspired sells paper artwork, stationary and furniture, and acts as an internship site for students in the special education department at Central High School.

“The boutique is a direct growth of Art Inspired,” says Katie Pearson, a junior Drury Enactus member. “It started as just an idea one of our team members had and now it’s grown to provide employment opportunities and acts as a source of empowerment for people living with disabilities in Springfield.”

Katie Pearson at Inspired Boutique

Katie Pearson at Inspired Boutique

For Inspired Boutique, Drury Enactus team members have been involved with the selection, sorting and collection of donations, marketing, event planning and volunteer coordination. All volunteer opportunities at the boutique are also Panther Passport events, which are Drury sponsored activities that help initiate greater involvement on campus and in the community.

“This store has such a great cause behind it and we’re excited to get students and the community involved with it,” says Pearson. “Everything is washed, dried, and steamed before going out to the floor and there’s anything from casual college wear, to professional attire, to clothes for a night out.”

One of the strengths of the Drury Enactus is the diversity of its members. Pearson, a psychology and behavioral neuroscience major, was able to combine her passion for the cause and her previous working experience at a resale store to benefit Inspired Boutique and the Enactus team.

“I’ve learned so much about event planning, marketing and business relations, but also have been able to draw from my own work background,” Pearson said. “I’ve definitely gained a lot of leadership skills from working on this project and it’s pushed me outside of my comfort zone.”

For more information about Inspired Boutique, visit its website  or the store location at 331 S. Campbell Ave.

The Drury team will present their work and compete at the 2015 Enactus National Exposition in April.


Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and Writing major at Drury. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Drury’s Enactus Team Finishes Among the Nation’s Top Eight

Drury University’s Enactus team emerged as one of the top eight teams in the nation after placing second in their league of competition within the semi-final round at the 2014 Enactus USA National Exposition in Cincinnati last week.

“Our students thought outside the box this year and completed some incredible, unique projects,” said Kaitlyn Den Beste, Drury’s Enactus Director. “I am so proud of the work they’ve done. They have grown throughout the year, and their work has improved the lives of those around them.”

Drury has won the SIFE National Exposition three times, (2001, 2003, 2005) and went on to win the SIFE World Cup in 2001 and 2003. Enactus was formerly known as SIFE.

2014 Enactus USA National Champion Texas State University advances to the Enactus World Cup, which will be held in Beijing, China in October.

For more information on Enactus, go to www.enactus.org


Student Group Continues its Work with Art Inspired

Drury Enactus, formerly known as SIFE, has been hard at work this year expanding the business they helped develop three years ago, Art Inspired. In collaboration with Abilities First, Art Inspired was created to offer meaningful employment to people with developmental disabilities.

Officially launched in August 2012, Art Inspired has grown and transformed in the short time it has been open. It started as a document disposal agency that converts recycled paper into artwork. Some of the products available for sale include frames, stationary, decorative letters, wine racks, and even furniture. 

Each year, Drury Enactus works with Art Inspired to help broaden its appeal and revenue. The business now includes an art gallery, art classes, and a “creation” station where customers can use the store’s paper and supplies to decorate their purchased product at a cost of $5 an hour.

Matt Hill, en employee at Art Inspired, makes a mold for a candle holder. He's using material make from shredded paper.

Matt Hill, an employee at Art Inspired, makes a mold for a candle holder using material made from shredded paper.

This year, Drury Enactus has worked with Central High School’s Special Education Department to develop an internship program at Art Inspired. Now included in their curriculum, students in one of Central’s Special Education classes travel to Art Inspired twice a week to learn about customer service and job shadow some of the current employees.

“This is a great opportunity for the students to get real-world experience,” says Drury Enactus member Emma Wheat. “They go through the job application process, learn about work place etiquette, and gain skills to put on their resume.”

Drury Enactus is also working with Art Inspired to expand its event space rentals. For $100 an hour, people can rent out the space for up to four hours. Art Inspired can also coordinate the rental of chairs, tables, sound systems, food, and other services for an additional charge. It can hold 150 people seated or 250 standing.

This versatile space has already been used for a networking event with the Chamber of Commerce, wedding receptions, office and social events, and art exhibits. The artwork of Edward Deeds, an Ozark man who spent most of his life in a mental hospital in Nevada, Mo., was revealed at a gala event during March’s First Friday Art Walk and is currently displayed at Art Inspired.

Without help from the Springfield community, none of these endeavors would have been possible, says Dr. John Taylor, faculty advisor of Drury Enactus.

“The core mission of Art Inspired is to serve as an employment and growth opportunity for individuals with special needs,” Taylor says. “Everything the Enactus team does in its partnership with Art Inspired serves that mission. In order for the business to fulfill its mission, we need the support of the community. Their patronage is key to the success of the store.”

The Drury team will present their work and compete at the 2014 Enactus National Exposition April 1-3. For more information about Art Inspired, visit its website or Facebook page, or the store location at 310 S. Campbell Ave.


Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and Writing major at Drury.  A version of this story originally ran in the Springfield News-Leader. 

Drury’s Enactus team finishes fourth at the Enactus National Exposition

Kansas City, Mo., May 24, 2012 — Drury University’s Enactus (formerly SIFE) team finished fourth at the Enactus USA National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo. on Thursday, May 23.

“We are extremely proud of the work the Enactus students at Drury have done this year,” said Kaitlyn Vaughn, Drury Enactus director. “We’ve had an enormous impact on the individuals and organizations we’ve worked with this year.”

Drury has won the SIFE National Exposition three times, (2001, 2003, 2005) and went on to win the SIFE World Cup in 2001 and 2003.

2013 Enactus USA National Champion Flagler College advances to the Enactus World Cup, which will be held in Mexico Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2013.

For more information on Enactus, go to www.enactus.org

Kaitlyn Vaughan
Drury Enactus Director
Office: (417) 873-6863
Mobile: (417) 839-1335


Drury’s Enactus team qualifies for national competition for 16th straight year

Rogers, Ark., April 18, 2013 — For the sixteenth straight year, Drury’s Enactus (formerly SIFE) team has qualified for nationals. Drury was regional champion at Wednesday’s competition in Rogers, Ark. This qualifies Drury for the Enactus national competition in Kansas City, Mo., May 21-23.

There are 10 regional competitions around the country that qualify teams from two and four year colleges and universities for Enactus nationals.

Drury won the Enactus (then SIFE) National Championship in 2001, 2003 and 2005, and Drury went on to win the World Cup in 2001 and 2003.

The Enactus World Cup is in Cancun, Mexico from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Belmont University from Nashville, Tenn. is the defending World Cup champion.


Drury students design app to help consumers cut utility costs

In August of 2012, the consequences of wasting water became more serious when Springfield’s water supply fell dangerously close to the point where Springfield residents would have faced mandatory water restrictions and rate increases. At that time, Drury partnered with other local colleges and universities to decrease water usage, and Drury’s student group Think Green! began handing out bottles of sand to go in toilet tanks, shower timers and other devices to help students cut back on water use.

Out of that effort was born the EcoScore App for Apple devices, which was developed by students on Drury’s Enactus (formerly SIFE) Team, “We identified a need for the Springfield area and decided this was the best way to bring water conservation into the household. We figured an app was better than a pamphlet,” said Kate Elam, EcoScore project leader.

Unlike that pamphlet that may wind up in the recycle bin, the app stays on the user’s smartphone. A user survey on the app gauges water usage, electricity usage and waste production. It then offers tips on the best ways to cut back and save the user money.

“It’s not just environmental, but an economic issue. People’s bills were going to increase so we not only wanted to cut usage but also help people save money,” said Leigh Anna Stone, Drury senior. “Many Drury students live off-campus and are trying to save on utilities. It’s not just their parents who are trying to cut back.”

The only problem in developing an app was that none of the students had ever created an app before, “I just started watching some YouTube videos and researching it online,” said Kurman Rysal, a Drury senior originally from Kyrgyzstan. “I then just applied what I learned to creating this app.”

Now that Apple has approved the app, the team’s goal is to achieve 1,000 downloads by the time Enactus holds its national competition in mid-May. Each team member plans to ask three people to use the app and compare utility costs, year-over-year, for three months with the hopes that it will bring down the user’s costs.

To download the app, go to the Apple App Store and search “EcoScore.”