PFEW Newsletter

Member Group : News Releases

Volume 1, Issue 6 June 2011

In this issue…
Alumni News

PFEW Dates
PFEW 2011
Program Dates
Week I – Lycoming
July 10-16, 2011
Week II – Lycoming
July 17-23, 2011
Week III – Penn
July 31- Aug. 6, 2011
Week IV – Lycoming
August 7-13, 2011

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3076 West 12th St.
Erie, PA 16505


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Dear Lowman,

As you are reading this, we are
busily attending to
the hundreds of last minute details for the upcoming four sessions of Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week 2011. On July 6th our "caravan" will depart from Erie transporting our entire operation to Williamsport for all of July and half of August. There we will welcome more than 1,400 students, their parents, as well as, approximately 200 volunteers on the campuses of Lycoming College and the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Students are still signing up and we are working to find scholarships for all of them. Excitement is building and the staff is eager to work with these fine young men and women who have been registering for the program since last November. Thanks to everyone who is helping us this year!

Alumni Testimonials
This month, we are pleased to feature a college essay from a PFEW 2010 graduate.
We hope this year’s program has the same affect on this summer’s particpants.

PFEW 2010 Graduate
Kaitlyn Buchler

"It is a strong belief of mine that being put out of your comfort zone enables you to grow and experience remarkable things. It was not until recently, however, that I recognized this truth. I began to realize that maybe that anxious "butterfly" feeling in my stomach was not there to make me feel uncomfortable, but to indicate uncharted territory ready to be explored. That same dreaded butterfly feeling was engulfing my stomach on the car ride to Lycoming College this past July. I signed up for Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week business camp in February, and looking back I contemplated why I had made that decision. I had never taken a business or marketing class, I was not a member of DECA, and I had never even been to an over-night summer camp. I pushed those thoughts aside as we pulled in the parking lot. I did not realize it, but I had already made the best decision of my summer and one of the best of my life.

After the lengthy registration process and move-in, I found myself among 16 complete strangers linked together only by an assigned letter and number-B-2, our company. Once again the nerves kicked in. I felt uncomfortable surrounded by people I knew nothing about, but once again I pushed the feeling aside, and began with a smile, an outstretched arm, and "Hi, I’m Kaitlyn, but you can call me Kait-or Kaity-nice to meet you."
After spending the second morning getting to understand just how financing really works, our group split up into Finance and Marketing teams. Being more of the artistic type I did the not-so obvious and joined the finance team. Yes, the girl who abhorred math and numbers teamed up with 6 of the most brilliant young mathematicians to run the heart and soul of our company. I was nervous I would not understand a concept or be the weak link in the team. That anxious butterfly feeling came flooding back before we discussed our Quarter 1 business decisions. By the time we finished I realized that I made another great instinctive decision. I loved business strategy. I loved the way we could change a number and get a substantially different result. More than that, I loved discussing in a group and hearing what everyone had to say, while voicing my own opinion. I was certainly not the most skilled on the finance team, but I learned so much by simply listening. After a single day of company meetings I grasped the finance concept and became a vital asset to our team. That gut instinct told me to take a risk and abandon my comfort zone, and it benefited me in ways I could not imagine. Was I actually advising my team to increase Quality Management and raise our cost while simultaneously increasing advertising? I impressed myself with my new found knowledge, but I also impressed myself with the bonds I created with my teammates. When we were not discussing our return on net assets, we were playing volleyball or Frisbee or simply hanging around the quad. These people I hardly knew five days ago were not strangers anymore. They were teammates, companions, and family.

Suddenly Friday arrived-the day of our Finance and Marketing presentations. We were being scored on everything from how we spoke to the information we presented. Everyone worked until the last bell at 10:45 PM the night before to pull together a brilliant presentation. The butterflies were noticeably wild in everyone’s stomachs as we twiddled our thumbs and nervously tapped our feet.

Hours after the final presentations, we sat together one last time at the awards banquet. After being announced 1st place winners in management skills and finance categories, and honorable mention in marketing and RONA (Return on Net Assets), we sat squeezing each other’s clammy hands. The anticipation hung in the air as the top company was to be announced. "And now the moment you have all been so anxiously waiting for…" Our hearts were throbbing out of our chests. "The top company for Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, Week Two is…COMPANY B-2!" All at once my new family sprang from our seats cheering and embracing. Out of 24 teams, our company came out on top. I flashed back through my week. I revisited the moments where I was unsure of myself, but took a leap of faith anyway. In retrospect, I could see how straying from my comfort zone and exploring something new could be the start of something amazing, like a winning team, or new found knowledge, or unforgettable friendships. PFEW was one small step I took as a pioneer in my unfolding life. It taught me one important lesson I will take with me the rest of my life. There is always something to be discovered outside of your own niche. It might even be something extraordinary."
~ Kaitlyn Buchler- Pottsgrove SHS

Are you a PFEW Graduate? We would love to hear your story!
Email us your testimonial and you could be featured in an upcoming newsletter.

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We are excited to be able to soon welcome another promising group of young people into the PFEW fold.
Without the support of all of you,
the "PFEW Family," none of this would be possible. Thank you so much for believing in our mission!

Foundation for Free Enterprise Education | 3076 West 12th Street | Erie | PA | 16505