Collins College of Business Professor Jeff Paul gave his Principles of Management class an assignment this spring to plan and execute a project that would benefit the community. Juniors Bradley Bourgeois, Aboira Irumudomon and Chang Liu formed a team and began exploring possibilities. After ruling out several ideas that were either too large in scale or could not be completed by the project’s due date, the group decided to initiate a fundraiser that would benefit students at nearby Kendall-Whittier Elementary.
The students met with Kendall Whittier’s principal, Ronda Kesler, to learn more about the school and its needs. “We discovered that teachers and staff go to great lengths to improve the learning experience for each child, including buying school supplies when needed,” said Irumudomon. “Then we researched how much school supplies cost – it’s actually very expensive to buy books, pencils, paper, folders and backpacks for each student.”
They outlined a plan to raise money that would go toward purchasing school supplies for students. Raising awareness through social media and setting up an information table at athletic events on campus, the students collected $3,500, which they recently presented during a school-wide assembly.
Irumudomon says that when seeking input on fundraising, he received valuable advice from Joe O’Connor, president and CEO of San Miguel School of Tulsa. “He said the worst thing that can happen to you when running a fundraiser is that you get no for an answer, but that we would be surprised by the number of people who would say yes if they are asked. This was proven many times throughout our project by a number of people at TU and in the Tulsa community who stepped up to volunteer and actively support our campaign.”