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Enacting Change

Enacting Change

The Movers and Shakers of Walla Walla 

By Emmett Pennington-Guthrie 

Entrepreneurial action for others creates a better world for us all. Take a few bits and pieces of that slogan and you get Enactus, the student-led group that currently has multiple projects on and around our campus. 

Of course, Enactus isn’t only a local organization. According to its website, it has 72,000 student members each year, is active in 35 countries, and is involved with 1,800 university programs. [1] 

Here at Walla Walla University, we have an active local chapter with 11 members currently involved, which also happens to have multiple ongoing projects. 

Enactus’s aim is to “take entrepreneurial action within whatever community we’re in and try to make it better,” as Madlyn Ellis, president of the local chapter of Enactus and senior business major, put it. [2] 

As the president of Walla Walla’s chapter of Enactus, Ellis works to keep Enactus functioning smoothly. Photo by Enactus.

To this extent, they have two major projects at the moment: one involving glass recycling and the other being a community garden. 

The glass recycling project involves crushing down glass and repurposing it in multiple ways, and Ellis described that Enactus is currently using the repurposed glass to make sandbags to help with flooding problems in some places around Walla Walla. [3] 

Crushing down the glass happens with a special glass crushing machine owned by Chris Lueck, a local resident who brought up the idea for the project to Enactus, and who works with them to make use of the glass that otherwise would go straight to landfills. [4] 

The way in which Lueck noticed a problem in the absence of glass recycling and brought it to Enactus’s attention is a common occurrence for them. 

As Ellis described, Enactus gets its ideas for projects from students and community members, who come to them noting problems or places that Enactus could start something new. [5] 

As of right now, Enactus doesn’t have any major projects set for the future beyond continuing the garden and glass recycling, but future ideas could come from the community or from students. 

The community garden, for instance, was a student’s idea. 

As the second major project going on right now, the garden is located by the fire station here in College Place, with plots being leased out to interested students and community members. [6] 

While plots for the garden are $50 for the season, Ellis stated that there are subsidies for individuals who can’t afford that cost. 

The Blue Zones Project, a sponsor of the garden, will subsidize $40, meaning the plots can be brought down to a much more affordable $10 for community members or students who need it. [7] 

Enactus “has partners who help us in areas like that with money,” as Ellis put it. [8] 

As an entirely volunteer-based group, Enactus doesn’t receive funding from the university, instead relying on grants, fundraisers, and donations. [9] 

See Also

Enactus’s volunteers aren’t paid, but still show a great deal of enthusiasm for the cause. 

For readers interested in joining Enactus, Ellis stated that they can use “anyone with any kind of skills… Everyone brings a different skillset. I mean, people who are interested in entrepreneurship, project management, that’s great too.” [10] 

To join, Enactus has an application form at http://wallawallaenactus.com/

Plus, there’s “no commitment, you do what you can. We’re all students and we’re all busy, so any time they have to give is great.” [11] 

Sources: 

1. Enactus. https://enactus.org/ 

2. Interview with Madlyn Ellis, 4/27/22. 

3-11. Ibid

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