On June 15th, 2019, Dr. Clara Munson led a group of three Business students Kevin Franco, John Markowski, and Kobey Smith to work with students from Riverton on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaica. Riverton is a depressed landfill for Kingston and home to approximately 7,000 people. The Albertus students worked on two projects. Patrick, who lives in Riverton, wants to start a smoothie shop for his community. The Albertus students met with Patrick, as well as an established smoothie shop owner in Kingston to learn about the business. The students created a basic business plan for the startup business as well as met with the builder to discuss plans for construction.
Another project the Albertus students worked on was with the STEP Center, a unique and groundbreaking institution in Kingston, Jamaica. The school was founded by parents who believed that their children who developed differently had the right to education, the right to take part in social interaction with other children, and to be given the opportunity and specialized help to reach his/her full potential. The students toured the facility and discussed several innovative ideas with the leaders of the facility. It was decided that two projects, colorful bibs and wheelchair harnesses, would be made at the sewing center in Riverton.
The STEP Center will receive the needed products and the youth of Riverton will have the opportunity to be involved in activities that will develop marketable skills. This project will also help the sewing center generate additional business to become self-sustaining.
Taking part in this initiative allowed Albertus business students to better understand the depth of poverty, to gain international exposure, and to broaden their cultural perspectives. Students enhanced their business skills and developed skills in international communication, mentorship, and community outreach as they immersed themselves in the Kingston community projects.
About the Author
Clara E. Munson, Ph.D. is a professor of Business Management for the Tagliatela School of Business and Leadership. Dr. Munson teaches courses in the areas of Principles of Marketing, International Business Management, and Human Resource Management. She has also been involved with the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) as a Director, Vice Chair, Chair, and Past Chair of the Board of Directors.