The class worked with the Community Empowerment Fund — an organization that offers support and opportunities for those facing poverty and homelessness — to find deserving recipients for their project, one of whom was Greene.
With the help of CEF, Greene has overcome substance abuse and now holds stable employment at UNC Hospitals, living in her own apartment with her teenage daughters, Portia and Kyndra. She is currently pursuing an associate degree in nursing at Durham Technical Community College.
“It’s about learning how to ask for help and also learning how to receive the help that’s being given to you,” she said.
Access to reliable transportation is one of the final steps in Greene’s transition to financial security, said Kitchen, who is a Kenan-Flagler lecturer in entrepreneurship.
He said that with a car, Greene can gain independence, career prospects and the more involvement in her daughters’ lives.
When asked about the inspiration for this particular project, he said he wanted to convey business techniques while still being relevant to students.
“I try to teach at the intersection of creating profitable businesses and doing something transformational for the community,” Kitchen said.
He commended the efforts of everyone involved, from the students who advertised and traded items to the local dealership that sold them the car.
“(It was) the community rising up to meet a need that someone had, and Chapel Hill is good at that,” he said.
UNC junior business administration majors Chris Jones and Joey Skavroneck, who took the course and participated in the project, expressed similar sentiments about the importance of conducting business with social consciousness.
They said they noticed the effect Greene’s story had in bringing the community together so Trade to Help could meet its goal.
“Through business and entrepreneurship, there is so much good that you can cause,” Jones said.
Because of the help that she has received in her life, Greene said it is her responsibility to do the same for someone else.
“Helping people is my true calling in life,” Greene said.
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