Enactus Secures $132,000 for City Life Center

Olivet club assists community center in grant funding.

March 23, 2022 Academics

This spring, Olivet Nazarene University’s chapter of Enactus received word that a major grant had been secured for the Youth For Christ City Life Center in Kankakee, Illinois. The Center has received $132,000 that will primarily benefit the Academic Mentoring Program (AMP) that is offered for Kankakee students in 4th-12th grade after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The program pairs Olivet students as mentors and homework helpers with local students.

Enactus is a social entrepreneurship organization that encourages university students to engage in their communities through collaboration with local businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals who can benefit from the knowledge, creativity and energy of students at the start of their careers. Each year, club projects are documented, progress is tracked and outcomes are presented in the spring at the Enactus World Cup. Olivet has had a large student participation in Enactus for more than a decade and the club has consistently received high rankings at the regional level of competition and advances to the national level.

The grant project partnership between Enactus and the City Life Center began in fall 2019. Current Enactus chapter president senior Steve Ringstrand lent his business acumen to leading the team in creating a budget plan and presenting the costs to the school board. He handled logistics for gathering and synthesizing information and collaborating with leaders at the Center. 

Members of the team presented the proposal in spring 2020 with an initial ask of $40,000 to fully fund AMP. Steve said that although the group felt great about the project, they didn’t have high expectations for funding. 

“The grant allowed the Center to hire some needed full-time staff to come alongside the Center,” he explained of the impact of such a large grant. “It also opened the door for growth for the different ministries the Center puts on as well as the ability to update their curriculum. These short-term changes will have amazing lasting impact on the students coming to the Center and the community as a whole. The Center’s funding relies primarily on donations so receiving this grant will hopefully turn into even more grants in the future from the school board and other potential donors.”

The grant will provide a solid foundation of support for the Center, but there is always more to do. Steve encouraged people to catch the vision of investing in the community by getting involved and contributing to the good work being done for students in Kankakee County. 

“The City Life Center is always looking for people to come serve in their ministries, as well as accepting donations to continue their work. It is a great place to serve children in need and show Christ’s love.”

“I love how Enactus provides us an opportunity to serve our community and the world by using the skills we are learning in the classroom,” Steve said of his involvement over the past three years. “Enactus is a business club, but we have many different majors represented, such as education, graphic design, and engineering, and I love getting to work with students that I would not usually interact with in the classroom.”

Enactus is open to all Olivet students, regardless of their area of study. Senior graphic design major, Raegan Pedersen worked creatively to polish the grant presentation materials by using her artistic skills. She has also participated in the club since her sophomore year and among other things, has designed the club t-shirts each year.

“I love the community of people. It is always such an upbeat fun environment and it is filled with people who want to make a difference,” Raegan reflected. “Enactus allows you to apply your skills to help others while being surrounded by students to cheer you on. It is a great way to get people together to help the community with a variety of skill sets and interests.”

For more information about the McGraw School of Business and other areas of study, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Published 3/23/2022

Note: A previous edition incorrectly stated the grant amount as $139,000.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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