Large group of local middle and high school male students pose for a photo with various Warrington staff in front of a large bronze gator statue.

UF Warrington & Made for More partnership brings college business education to life for local students

A recent partnership event with the non-profit introduced local middle and high school students to the Business Gator experience.

A group of eighth and ninth grade students from Lincoln Middle School and Eastside High School had the opportunity to be Business Gators for the day thanks to a collaborative project between the local non-profit Made for More and the University of Florida Warrington College of Business.

Jeff Danso speaks in a classroom with a group of students in the Made for More program.

Jeff Danso, left, speaks to the students in the Made for More program.

Made for More is a faith-based non-profit organization that exists to mentor and inspire student athletes through teachings, mentorship, workshops, camps, exposure trips and community involvement. It’s founder Joel Romelus has partnered with other colleges at the University of Florida to expose the students to new subjects. After meeting with Warrington’s Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager Jeff Danso, he added business into the fold.

“One of the things that many of the kids we work with need within their communities is financial empowerment,” Romelus said. “Historically, business and entrepreneurship have been effective vehicles to help provide economic mobility for under-resourced communities. So, when the opportunity for partnership through Jeff Danso and the UF school of business, I knew it was something that we needed to do.”

Romelus had two goals for the students as part of the experience – to both conceptualize and envision themselves as college business students and understand that attending a preeminent university is a goal within their reach.

“One of the things we realize in mentoring youth is that their dreams and goals are often a direct reflection of their exposure,” he said. “So, the hope was that the trip to Warrington would broaden their future horizons. We hoped that they would hear stories from current student with similar experiences and backgrounds to help them realize that college for them, even a top university like UF, is achievable.” 

The week prior to the visit to Warrington’s campus, Danso gave the students an overview of the college and the subject areas it offers through its degree programs. Current Warrington student Cameron Afram-Gyening (BSBA ’24) joined Danso to share more about his personal experience as a student in UF’s business school.

“When Jeff told me I had the chance to speak to a younger generation of underrepresented student-athletes, I knew I had to help,” said Afram-Gyening. “I always love to give back and help educate other students in any way that I can, and this sounded like a great opportunity considering that I was a student-athlete growing up and in high school.”

Afram-Gyening joined the Lincoln Middle and Eastside High students for their day at Warrington, along with several other students, faculty and staff from the college. In addition to Danso, Dr. Robert Thomas and Dr. Stephen Asare met with the students.

Thomas, Warrington’s Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Darden Restaurants Professor, spoke about his personal experience as a student athlete during his time in college, while KPMG Professor Asare hosted the students for a mock accounting class, teaching them about taxes, profits, interest and more.

After touring the college with Warrington Diplomats Erian Powers (BABA ’23) and Atleena Jino (BSBA ’23), the students were split into groups for a $10 business plan activity. The students were tasked with coming up with a sustainable business plan for a $10 product. Warrington students Errianna Quallo (BSBA ’26), Nuton Williams (BSBA ’24) and Afram-Gyening served as team coaches who helped the students work through questions like who they would market their product to, where they would sell their product and what problem their product would solve.

“Each coach did a great job guiding the students through the process of how to work together as a team and how to understand business concepts,” Danso said. “They helped give the students the confidence to create their own presentations and present to the business plan judges. All the [Lincoln and Eastside] students really stepped up to the plate and did a great job. They would make our case coaches proud!”

A group of students sit at a large circular table.

Student Cameron Afram-Gyening served as a coach for a group of Made for More students during the $10 business plan activity.

Afram-Gyening said the $10 business plan case was his favorite part of the program and he was impressed with the realistic and smart ideas the students came up with in such a short amount of time.

“I didn’t even have to suggest anything as a coach, they were able to come up with great ideas and presented these ideas well in front of older judges,” he said. “This activity would be challenging for most, and the fact that these kids were up for the challenge was amazing to see. After working with these kids, I believe that every student in the Made for More program will go on to do great things in the future.”  

Afram-Gyening is excited to have played a role in the success of the Made for More students and is looking forward to their continued growth, especially as they consider their steps after high school.

“It was a great feeling to know that I contributed to growing these students’ knowledge of college and business in general,” he said. “I hope they continue to be curious and eventually end up applying and becoming Gators after they graduate high school.”