Entrepreneurship for the Public Good

2004–2005 EPG Fellows


Ilyas R. Assanov ‘07
Business Administration Major/Computer Science Minor
Shymkent, KazakhstanOn EPG: EPG has given me the chance to realize what the challenge is all about. I learned a lot about Appalachian communities. Although it is hard to compare problems of Appalachian communities with those of third world countries, it was interesting to see how local municipalities and all people of the community deal with their problems.
Melvin Cowan ‘06
Communication Major
Lexington, KYOn Life: I know I would not have made it if somebody did not believe in me and make me feel that I am an important person; if someone didn’t show me how to love and respect other’s feelings and opinions; if someone didn’t get me to see that my potential to do great things was limitless.
Kathleen F. Davis ‘05
Theatre Major
Frankfort, KYOn Life: Anything that is worth getting up at the crack of dawn for and working into the late hours of the night for has to be pretty important. Don’t just do the things you think you “should” do or that others “want” you to do, find something that really lights a fire in your stomach and go full force.On EPG: Economy needs both ends of the spectrum, those that worry about the money and those that worry about societal needs. I just think the two ends need to come together and work cooperatively.
Mamadou Diallo ‘06
Economics Major/Math Minor
Guinea (West Africa)Personal: I like listening to music, reading, traveling, playing soccer, participating with Habitat for Humanity, Cosmopolitan Club, African Student Association, Muslim Student Association and Berea Entrepreneurs Club. My hero is Nelson Mandela (because of his perseverance).
Words to live by: I was made to handle challenges.On EPG: Many people fail to notice that a nonprofit corporation is not prohibited from making a profit, but there are limitations on what it can do with its profit. I would prefer a nonprofit that makes money in accordance with its mission. For-profit businesses also benefit the public interest by creating jobs or coming up with better products and medicines. For-profit businesses also help to fund nonprofits. In short, I would like to mix the passion for a cause with businesslike discipline: social entrepreneurship.
Jeremy Khela ‘07
Business Administration (Finance) Major
Pinson, ALOn Business: By relying on the same principles of the EPG program (which include leadership, proper utilization of resources, teamwork, etc.), organizations are able to fight such problems as high illiteracy rates, rampant drug use and lack of balanced reporting in traditional media. These are enterprises that embody what EPG stands for: “Entrepreneurship for the Public Good.”On EPG: As a whole, our visit to southeastern Kentucky made me care more about Appalachia because these people were similar to my neighbors and relatives, as well as friends. In other words, they desire the same things out of life as you and me.
Jesse Neil Likens ‘06
Speech Communication Major/Appalachian Studies Minor
Elkins, WVOn Life: The wise man learns from the fool, the fool learns from experience. We all need to be the fool at times to learn and grow.On EPG: I think the teamwork between all of the EPG students during the Entrepreneurship Camp was wonderful. I bonded even more with different people while the camp was taking place. I feel that everyone in our class is part of an EPG family and that we are all really close.
Kathryn McLean Maney ‘06
Business Management Major/Spanish Minor
Waynesville, NCOn EPG: If anything characterizes the summer EPG program and what I have learned it would be the following: Somewhere in between driving the back roads of Kentucky to create a driving tour of Estill County and creating a business plan involving women, dogs and spa treatments, I realized that I was far from my comfort zone–and I liked it!Personal Philosophy: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy Where Are They Now?
Kathy is currently residing in Waynesville, North Carolina. There she is working with the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce as the Director of Marketing and Communications. She states “the position fits my love for small business and niche markets perfectly.” On the side, she writes for a newspaper called, The Smokey Mountain News, in a column entitled the “Green Corner” that looks at the perspective of sustainability in business practices. More recently, she has started the Masters program in Entrepreneurship at the University of Western Carolina in hopes of one day teaching college students. Also, she serves the Haywood County Fairboard that promotes the county’s values and resources.Kathy reminisces that “Some of the best memories from Berea College are from the time spent as a fellow and student employee of the EPG program.”
Carolyn McQueen ‘06
Women’s Studies Major/Sociology Minor
Sylva, NC & Berea, KYOn Life: From raising a family of four great kids, to playing football and jumping on the trampoline with nine awesome grandbabies, to farming, ranching, driving an 18-wheeler cross-country and being an EPG Fellow, my life has been an exciting and gratifying ride in the fast-lane! Here’s smilin’ atcha!On EPG: Far outweighing the negative in these communities, I see positive, productive, healthy things happening…the women of the “Petticoat Mafia” in Benham, KY are without a doubt the perfect example of social entrepreneurs. Their efforts have had far-reaching effects as people from all over the country have recognized, supported and hopefully, replicated their model.
Cynthia Mills ‘06
Communication Major/Business Minor
Inez, KYPersonal Philosophy: “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.”
– J. Robert OppenheimerOn EPG: A recurring theme throughout this trip was about not giving up. When the owner of Touch the Earth Adventures was giving us business advice, she told us to never let someone tell you that you can’t do something. The owner of Class A Sounds told us the same thing.
Mai N. Nguyen ‘05
Double Major: Mathematics & Education
Bien Hoa, Vietnam & Atlanta, GAPersonal Goals: After graduating from Berea, I want to pursue a career teaching high school mathematics in Georgia. I want to give back to my community by helping my students understand the importance of mathematics and volunteer services. I hope to someday visit Vietnam, Japan and Europe.On the EPG Challenge Course: They lifted me up with the ropes and I was very high in the air. Letting go was the most exciting and scary part. I felt like I was being dropped. I screamed very loud. I felt relief. I felt alive. I was happy that I did it.
Emily Potter ‘08
Communication Major
Brodhead, KYOn Life: If you are looking for opportunities, you have to put yourself in “cause and effect” mentality. When you see something, ask yourself what the possible effects could be, and if there is any opportunity there.On EPG: I used to think I was a leader because I was willing to take charge of situations. I learned that in addition to doing my best, leadership involves helping others to do their best. That’s a more difficult task. EPG has helped me recognize and begin to work on this.
Jason Saunders ‘06
Business Administration (Finance) Major
Cincinnati, OHOn Business (and Life): Plan your work then work your plan.On EPG: One of the most important things I learned in the program was about my own personality and leadership style and how it fits with or contrasts with the styles of others.
Esther White ‘07
Business Administration Major
Berea, KYOn Life: Whatever you decide you want to do, just take the first few steps towards making it happen. Before you know it, you find yourself doing it, loving it, growing and changing. No one can set limitations on your life but you. Never give up!
On Communities: One of the most difficult things I have experienced is to sit back and allow one of my children to make “bad” choices and suffer the consequences. A community is similar. You have to love your mission and deeply respect the people you serve. You have to offer an environment of education, consciousness, support and sometimes, therapy and rehabilitation. You have to make it okay to explore options and make mistakes. This is the role of a family. This is also the role of a servant leader.Where Are They Now?
Esther is currently residing in Lexington, Kentucky. She is employed at the Martin School for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky. Her specific position is grant manager for the Kentucky Emergency Management that helps communities across the Commonwealth acquire FEMA grants for hazard mitigation projects. Esther shares words of wisdom by stating,“Although the entrepreneurial tools EPG provided helped me find a great job working for the public good, the most valuable incentives I gained were the confidence and satisfaction that came from having others believe in me and encourage me to step boldly forward to become the change that I want to see in the world…Wherever EPG Fellows may land, there will always be an opportunity to make life better.”
Jamal Williams ‘06
Double Major: Political Science & Black Studies
Conyers, GAOn EPG: The amazing thing is, before the summer, I started having second thoughts about whether or not I made the right decision with EPG, because I began to doubt if I could do all the work. After the first week or so, I think it is probably the best thing I ever did, and a lot of the things I am learning will be useful to me in the future.Personal Goals: I want to educate people about my experiences, about race, so maybe tensions can be eased.
Morgan Younge ‘06
Double Major: Communication & Theatre
Nashville, TNPersonal: My favorite color is purple, and my favorite shape is the star. I have lived in Ghana for a month. I love to swim. My favorite book is “Like Water for Chocolate.”On EPG: Meeting with the CEO of the biotech company really helped me understand and love our program. His focus was on money. Before today, I had not fully understood public good, but after meeting and hearing what he had to say, I embrace public good so I can do for others and not just myself.

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