Portland Elementary students work alongside UofL MBA students as part of the Elevate Portland initiative.
Portland Elementary students were inspired by College of Business undergraduate students to aim high as part of the Elevate Portland Initiative.

College of Business Masters of Business Administration and undergraduate students this semester supported the elementary school children at Portland Elementary as part of the Elevate Portland Initiative. 

The MBA students successfully implemented two back-to-back projects for the school. They hosted a Family Night that included sessions for the parents on financial planning, college education and legal assistance. The MBA students entertained the children with games, coloring and reading. 

MBA students also raised money to buy Jolly Ranchers, which the teachers use to encourage and reward the students during the annual standardized testing week. The MBAs met their goal to provide 15,000 pieces of candy, then paid it forward by donating $400 additional money raised to a group of undergraduate students in a leadership class that put on a Career Day at Portland. With the help of the proceeds from the MBA donation, every child got a motivational t-shirt.

The projects were part of the Elevate Portland Initiative, which the college launched in 2015 as a way to help give back to the community. Portland, which is ranked second (out of 172 schools) on the Jefferson County Public School Need Index, is part of UofL’s Signature Partnership Initiative.

“It has been inspiring to watch our students pour time and effort into the Elevate program,” said marketing professor Beth Davis-Sramek, COB’s head of diversity and community outreach.  “Most MBA students are working full time and going to school at night, so to see them pay it forward and be an example to our undergraduates is amazing. Ultimately, we want all of our students to be a force for good in their communities.”