Claire Voltarel, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor
Forbes Magazine recently named 2012 Berry alumna Brin Enterkin to their “30-Under-30 Social Entrepreneurs” list, recognizing her impact on Ugandan orphans through her non-profit, The African SOUP.
During her freshmen year as a government and public relations double major, Enterkin traveled to Uganda on a scholarship to study microfinancing, but returned with a new purpose. While in Uganda, Enterkin witnessed the impoverished lives of orphans and felt the need to help. According to Paula Englis, the department chair of management at Berry who nominated her, Enterkin felt donations weren’t enough.
“It started with just wanting to help these kids, and then figuring out that she needed to do more than just send money,” Englis said.
Enterkin began The African SOUP (Supporting Orphans in Uganda Project), an organization that not only raises money, but applies it to create systems and infrastructure in orphan communities. The SOUP established orphanages, schools, group living, a hospital and independent food growth to help sustain the communities.
Enterkin also wanted to implement a new form of education. She shifted from traditional rote teaching methods of memorization to an active, hands-on learning environment like Berry, Englis noted. After finishing high school, students in the program receive money to become entrepreneurs and make their own living, ensuring that their individual and communal development will continue. Now the program is taking the knowledge gained from their work, and planning how it can be spread across Uganda as a national goal.
Dean of student work and Enterkin’s supervisor, Rufus Massey, said Enterkin was known to involve as many people in her cause as she could. To raise money for these projects, The SOUP established an annual “SOUP-Off”. This event raises money from organizations who pay to participate in a soup-cooking contest. Additionally, Enterkin and Massey attended other events in Atlanta to raise awareness. Enterkin also applied for grants and used award money to jumpstart the program.
“She found a calling,” Englis said. “Making a difference, being a change maker, that is what Brin is.”
Englis and Massey noted the opportunities Berry provided for Enterkin to pursue her passion for change.
“Berry really freed her to do these things,” Englis said. She took advantage of all these different programs that Berry has to offer.”
Enterkin began her journey to making a difference in her high school career, where she raised $17,000 to build an elementary school in Cambodia.
Immediately after arriving at Berry, Enterkin found a way to influence change. Even as a government and public relations double major, her entrepreneurial spirit flourished through the Student Enterprise program. Enterkin became the first student member of the Berry Enterprises during its founding. Later, she led as the first student director of the Enterprises, and founded the Nonprofit Strategic Services to assist organizations wanting to make a difference.
As a junior, Enterkin received the Richardson Scholarship, which allowed her to travel around the world, record her experience and make it into a documentary. Additionally, Enterkin became SGA president, a Leadership Fellows scholar and an honors student.
“She epitomizes a Berry student and what I see as an entrepreneur,” Englis said.
After graduating, Enterkin continued full-time at The SOUP and started The Lions Thread with 2014 Berry graduate Sydney Hulebak. This program provides job opportunities for Ugandan women making and selling bowties. Twenty-two percent of the profits go to The SOUP.
“Any of us can play a role for a short period of time,” Massey said, “But for Brin to do what she’s doing for a long period of time takes a very different level of commitment.”
According to Englis, being recognized on Forbes “30-Under-30” is harder to receive than acceptance to Harvard. Both Englis and Massey are excited about Enterkin’s future and seeing her make a difference even more than she has already.
“She seems to have this internal driving force that wants her to help people who are not able to help themselves,” Massey said.