NEWBERRY — A group of Newberry College students is learning the keys to success through Roteract, a junior Rotary Club started by business professor and Newberry Rotarian Paul Smith.
The members are all business and accounting students but that is where the similarity ends. All students have varying interests and different routes they plan to travel but all are learning what it takes to be successful in the business and professional world.
The group is open to young people ages 18 to 30 so even after students graduate, they can still be involved in Roteract. There is also no financial commitment.
The group includes 12 members that Smith picked based on the their majors. He also picked students from another business organization, Phi Beta Lambda, which is a student government organization.
Smith looks for students who want to lead and serve. Smith said he wanted to establish Roteract to get the next generation of Rotarians growing and going.
The students attend the Newberry Rotary meetings every other Friday and learn to network and connect with the professionals in that organization.
In addition to networking, the group also has a mission. Just like Rotary has a goal to help end polio, Roteract has a goal of helping those who are blind.
The students are also helping with literacy projects by reading to students at Boundary Elementary School and are looking to get bookcases built for the literacy council.
The faces of Roteract
Malike Crate is a senior at Newberry College majoring in accounting and minoring in business. When he’s not learning about the business world in Roteract, he’s either acting or working on a business he recently started.
“I sell T-shirts and hats with a logo which is a stick figure,” Crate said. His business is called BYS which stands for Be Yourself.
“I came up with the idea with my dad and I hope to continue and grow it,” he said, adding that support from students also helped him get started.
He’s performed in about seven plays at the college with a favorite being “Almost in Maine” where he performed at the Newberry Opera House.
He’s attended some of the luncheons at the Rotary Club and said he’s learned “communication is key to basically everything and putting yourself out there is a great ability to learn.”
Student Dillon Mann, a sophomore and business major, owns a fishing business in which he sells catfish, a main staple, along with shrimp, crab and other non-game fish. Mann said he’s always been involved in the outdoors.
“I’m an Eagle Scout,” he said. “I’ve been fishing since I could hold a fishing pole.”
Although his business is four months old, he said he and his business partner have been doing this for a few years now. It’s just a hobby turned business. He also donates to missions including his church in Newberry, Restoration Outreach Church.
Missions are another interest of Mann’s. He’s gone to Guatemala a few times and is scheduled to go to Nicaragua.
“It’s just something that is near and dear to me,” he said.
He’s also attended Rotary meetings where he connected with Rotarians like Scott Cain, Foster Senn and others.
“I definitely want to pursue business in the long term and after college want to attend culinary school,” he said.
Roteract also has its share of women. In fact the new president is Markaita Minor, a junior majoring in business and accounting who plans to attend graduate school for accounting.
She has also attended several Rotary lunches and enjoyed reading to the children at Boundary Street. In fact, she wants to continue the reading and literacy project and has ideas for future projects for the club, such as nursing home projects, an Adopt-a-Highway and activities and visibility during Entrepreneur Week at the college.