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Networking task raises money for local students

Sarah Stewart, Laura Moon and Taylor Sizemore pose for a group picture next to the popcorn machine at left.

Sarah Stewart, Laura Moon and Taylor Sizemore sell popcorn for 50 cents per bag inside Lafferre Hall. Over the course of four days spread over two weeks, the group raised nearly $70 to buy school supplies to stuff into backpacks for local elementary school students. The group also received supply donations.

Mizzou’s chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon (AΩE), the engineering women’s sorority, formed in 2012. Each semester, new classes of candidates work on a group project The Beta Zeta class of AOE recently raised $68 to buy school supplies for a group of students at a Columbia-area elementary school.

Tasked last fall with devising a project that would network the organization’s newest candidates, bioengineering sophomores Taylor Sizemore, Laura Moon, Hayley Anderson and Brittanie Doughtery, sophomore mechanical engineering student Sarah Stewart and freshman bioengineer Shannon Johnson decided to sell popcorn to fund backpacks with school supplies for selected students at West Boulevard Elementary.

“We came up with the backpack strategy, but we had a small budget,” Sizemore said. Acknowledging the small budget led to the idea to raise money to buy backpacks with school supplies. Sizemore added that West Boulevard Elementary would ultimately decide what supplies are needed and who will receive them.

Taylor Sizemore scoops popcorn into a bag while selling popcorn outside Lafferre Hall.

Taylor Sizemore scoops popcorn into a bag while selling it outside Lafferre Hall.

An added benefit, Sizemore said, is the group’s plan to expose the young recipients to current Mizzou Engineering students and engineering, in general. The College of Engineering donated some materials, as did other members in the organization.

“We want people to see that engineering is fun, and we want kids to know what Mizzou engineers do,” she said.

Sizemore and the other five students are now active members in the organization. AΩE also has a 5K race planned May 3 that will raise money for Mizzou Global Medical Training. More information on that race may be found here.

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