Sharon Simmons has been involved with FPE for a number of years through her daughter’s school and Girl Scout troop, but it wasn’t until recently that she connected with us on a professional level. As a professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at William Paterson University, Sharon wanted to expose her students to FPE and our mission.
A group of her students were working on a team project for Enactus, an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who use the power of entrepreneurial action for social good.
These 15 students competed this past spring in the Enactus national competition. The project they chose was to publish a book online about the Declaration of Independence Signers. One student is a descendent of one of the signers. He is passionate about bringing to life all of the signers and not just the four who are well known.
For the book, they gathered one-page excerpts on each of the 56 Declaration of Independence Signers and then spoke with children in the FPE Afterschool Program about the relevance of the document from an historic and modern perspective. The children wrote their reflections, some of which are included in the book.
The students presented their book project to Enactus. Although they didn’t win the competition, they learned valuable lessons about social entrepreneurship, which they hope to use in future endeavors. The students also sold copies of the book around campus and donated the proceeds to FPE. The project may be finished, but we hope that this is just the beginning of opportunities for future collaboration.