Ted Foltyn, adjunct professor for the Horn Entrepreneurship program, challenged his ENTR452 students last semester to raise money for Friends 4 Friends (F4F), an on-campus organization that unites students to remind them that in a world full of pressure and stress, there is always someone there to talk to. The successes of the campaign have inspired the student-run group to continue the selling challenge this semester.
Willem Westra (left) and Kyle Hoover (right) in Purnell Hall last semester after Ted Foltyn's ENTR452 class.
Ted’s Entrepreneurial Selling class was designed to help students develop skills to sell a business idea. This could be anything from a million-dollar business, to selling yourself in a job interview. The selling challenge aims to raise money for F4F for resources and events. Two students from the class took the assignment into their own hands by creating a GoFundMe page. Through this, they were able to raise $300 in just ten days. Both students, Kyle Hoover and Willem Westra, feel strongly about advocating for mental health on behalf of fellow students.
Kyle shares his insight on the experience, saying, “What drove me to raise money was the opportunity to help some fellow Blue Hens. I feel the people we spoke with really understood how much we truly wanted to support this cause. Mental health affects so many individuals throughout college and the fact that a student organization comes together to help others in need really warms my heart.”
Both Kyle and Willem agree that this project taught them the importance of your network, especially when trying to help others. Although pitching can be uncomfortable and slightly awkward at first, learning to pitch about something you truly care about is a skill that will carry you in the business world. It is about saying, this is me, this is what I stand for, this is why you should care. The impact they made is what a great pitch aims to achieve.
Their efforts, along with Friends 4 Friends as an organization, creates a community that hopes to inspire others that may be struggling to reach out for help. The club is run by passionate, educated students that have their own stories of mental health struggles, whether it be of themselves or a close loved one. Life isn’t meant to be lived alone. We are better together than we are alone. It is important to know about the resources that the University of Delaware has, ultimately breaking down the stigma on mental health.
Alexa Patterson, President of Friends 4 Friends this semester, is touched by the impact that Ted’s class was able to make. She was first introduced to Ted by F4F founder Darian Elmendorf. When reflecting, she says, “Every now and then, we come across angels in our lives who selflessly help us through these goals. Ted Foltyn happened to be one of these angels.” The past two semesters, Ted brought in executive members from F4F into his class to talk about the purpose of the club and how donations can help. This has had the most impact on his classes as they are hearing real stories and real experiences from students just like them.
F4F Executive board after their first meeting.
Alexa shares, “As a community, Friends 4 Friends has four main goals: Raise suicide awareness and prevention, work to de-stigmatize mental illness and start a campus wide discussion about mental health, raise money for the UD counseling center and mental health related services on campus, and create a social/friend group for anybody and everybody to be a part of.”
The organization was first started in 2017 after friend, Connor Mullen lost his life. He was an amazing person that was silently suffering with his own mental health. A tragedy felt by his family, friends, students, faculty, and everyone that had the opportunity of knowing Connor, that was able to cultivate something beautiful like Friends 4 Friends.
F4F members during the Annual Fall Festival Fundraiser. (Darian on right, Alexa second from right)
So what can you do to help?
Students in Ted’s class are raising money right now. To donate, you can reach out to Ted or Alexa directly. Check out their Instagram for event happening on-campus. Here is how you can get in contact with them this semester:
If you or someone you know has been feeling off, come out to a meeting to engage with people that you can talk to. This is open to all students. It’s always beneficial to know what to say to someone that is struggling. Mental health challenges more people than we talk about, which is why it is so important to raise awareness.
The UD Helpline is available at any time, day or night for students feeling anxious, overwhelmed, depressed or otherwise in need of counseling. By calling (302) 831-1001, live counseling assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
About Horn Entrepreneurship
Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement at the University of Delaware. Currently ranked among the best entrepreneurship programs in the US, Horn Entrepreneurship was built and is actively supported by successful entrepreneurs, empowering aspiring innovators as they pursue new ideas for a better world.