On April 1, about 20 Girl Scouts from the region were wel-
comed to campus for a new event sponsored by Enactus called
Scouts Promise. The girls explored four science stations -- slime,
acid and bases, ice cream, and molecules. Scouts Promise is one
of more than 20 STEM projects that Enactus members have
crafted over the past 15 years.
The parents and troops left with two lesson kits they could ex-
plore later at home or at a future Scout meeting.
"We were amazed to see that troops came from Buffalo and
Rochester for this event," said one of the organizers, Mya Cap-
pellino, a junior from Clarence Center, N.Y., who joined Enactus a
"I'm very involved in school and wanted to join Enactus because
of the work they do throughout the year leading up to and after
the annual Bahamas trip," said Cappellino, who has gone on mis-
sion trips to Honduras with her mother since the age of 13.
"College can have a lot of distractions and can be really fun but
maintaining a good balance between fun, school and co-curricu-
lar activities will give a student the full college experience in a
positive way," she said.
As Enactus education coordinator for the past two years, Taylor
Douglas, '17, had a variety of responsibilities -- from creating sci-
ence lesson plans that were utilized in the eight partner schools
in the Bahamas to training materials for the SBU students who
would be working in the schools.
"Two years ago, the lesson plans were focused on chemistry,
while this year the plans were focused on earth science. The les-
son plans that are created must be hands-on and interesting in
hopes of sparking more children's interest in science at an early
age," said Douglas, who is from North Salem, N.Y.
Douglas completed her undergraduate degree in biology in
May and will return in the fall to pursue her MBA.
"Through Enactus I found myself, in that I want to combine my
passion for people, medicine and business, and enter the health
care administration field. Dr. Palmer -- and Enactus -- have had
nothing but a positive impact on my life that led me to make a
very important discovery about myself throughout my college ca-
reer," Douglas said.
Embrace it Africa
Dr. Pauline Hoffmann became involved in SIFE shortly after join-
ing the journalism faculty in 2006, helping the students develop
their communication and presentation skills.
She remembers clearly the day that Palmer first broached the
idea of going to Africa.
"Hey Pauline, do you want to go to Africa?" Palmer yelled to
her through the doorway at her Murphy Building office.
"Yeah, Todd, I'll go to Africa," Hoffmann responded.
If only the rest had been that easy.
The first team of six St. Bonaventure students and several fac-
B O N A V E N T U R E
Taylor Douglas, '17, works with a student on a project at a Ba-
haman primary school. Through Enactus, she says she found
her calling to combine her passion for people, medicine and
ulty members went to Bethlehem, Uganda, in the summer of
2008. What they learned from Bethlehem residents was that
for Embrace it Africa to be able to truly contribute to sustain-
able development, they would need to address the key issues
of poverty, education and public health. From those issues, EIA
developed three of its main programs: Mikwano Microfinance,
a government-registered savings and credit cooperative; a stu-
dent sponsorship program pairing people around the world
with students at the Bethlehem Parents School and Orphan-
age; and public health awareness.
From the first trip in 2008, one of EIA's goals was to set up
microfinance opportunities for the Bethlehem community.
Since then, 63 microloans have been granted and there is now
a building that houses the microfinance center.
During his junior year, Zach Rodriguez, '09, read Muhammad
Yunus' book, "Banker to the Poor," in which the author explains
how he developed the idea of microfinance in his home country
of Bangladesh. Inspired by the book, Rodriguez contacted several
organizations to volunteer in the industry the following summer,
but was advised to wait until he graduated. It was at this point
he met Embrace it Africa co-founders Lindsay Pohlman, '09,
(now CEO) and Andrew Mantilia, '09 (now CFO).
"They said we could put together a group on our own
through the club. So we came to Palmer with the idea and he
gave us a little seed money to start the microfinance pro-
gram," Rodriguez said.
"We learned a lot on that trip," said Hoffmann.
Their first attempt, Rodriguez said, "really showed me how
little I understood about microfinance."So Mikwano operated
informally for a couple years, Rodriguez learned a ton, and then
found some donors in Chicago who were willing to donate
money to construct the bank.
"I worked with our friends in Uganda to restructure the entity
so that we had more legal control," Rodriguez said.
Nakabiito Teddy was among the first in the Bethlehem commu-
nity to receive a loan from Mikwano.
"She has definitely shown herself to be a business savvy
woman," said Rodriguez, chief operations officer of EIA. He is
This year for Scouts Promise
we had four main science
topics -- slime, acid and bases,
ice cream and molecules.
The responses from this day
were all positive and we want
to grow Scouts Promise and
focus our attention on
creating a business out of it.
~ Mya Cappellino
Class of 2019