Once again, Enactus is giving back.

The student-run group at PSU stepped up to help Communities in Schools of Mid-America with a project to address needs at Pittsburg’s elementary schools, middle school, and high school.

“It’s a great thing for everyone involved,” said Coordinator Alex McNay. “It gives the university students the opportunity to be a program facilitator of something, to connect resources, to be involved in the community, to make a difference in the areas where there is the most need.”

CIS got its start in New York City in the 1970s, when founder Bill Milliken put forth that relationships, not programs, change children. Putting community resources inside the schools would accelerate those relationships, he said. Today, the program is at work in 2,300 schools in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

In Pittsburg, Communities in Schools of Mid-America works with counselors and staff to identify student needs according to severity, then assign them to one of three tiers of support. Those tiers range from providing more than 300 children the basics like food and clothing, to weekly meetings.

In turn, students in Enactus say they’re glad to be involved in a valuable learning experience.

Cameron Brown, a finance and marketing major from Columbus, Kansas, said they connected with groups on campus like sororities and fraternities to recruit volunteers and get donations of food, clothing, school supplies, and more.

Ryan Hendrix, a marketing major from Bentonville High School, said it felt good to give back to the community by collecting non-perishable food on the Oval, at a home football game, and elsewhere to the tune of more than 1,000 items.

Enactus Advisor Suzanne Hurt said her students also helped high school students and unemployed parents with resumés and workforce preparation.