U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives


Jesse Helms Center Foundation teaches good business practices to students in Uruguay

U.S. Embassy organizes Free Enterprise Leadership Conference in Carmelo.

May 28, 2004


Students from Liceo No. 2 in Carmelo learned what it takes to create or find a product, market it and make a profit, while at the same time keeping a keen eye on business ethics.

The 65 students found ways to promote Uruguayan products such as honey, wool, dulce de leche and leather pillows. One group laid out plans for a chain of Uruguayan-style restaurants.

The students were participating in the Free Enterprise Leadership Conference, a two-day seminar sponsored by the Jesse Helms Center Foundation, North Carolina. The U.S. Embassy organized the event in Uruguay.

The Jesse Helms Center Foundation is a non-profit, non-political organization which promotes and preserves the principles of free enterprise, representative democracy and traditional values.

The Free Enterprise Leadership Conference conducted in Carmelo is the same program attended by more than 200 U.S high school students each year in North Carolina. The conference is a way to promote the students understanding of business, personal responsibility an the opportunities available to them in the free enterprise system.

The activities included lessons about marketing, production, costs of doing business, profit and taxes. Students also played the Dilbert Ethical Challenge Game of business ethics. They participated in speech and essay competitions and heard from prominent business leaders in Uruguay.

Jorge Lepra told the students how he worked his way up at Texaco from paper changer (changing the toilet paper rolls) to top executive. He was also the vice president for the Uruguayan soccer team, Penarol.

“You’ll learn very strict codes of ethics in your careers, but you need to have a personal code of ethics, too,” Lepra said.

Dr. Jorge da Silveira, a celebrated Uruguayan sports caster and journalist, encouraged the students to study, excel and participate in sports, because “it gives you an advantage, an edge.”

“My message is that nothing is easy but it’s important to do your best to attain your goal,” he told the group. “Once you do it, reach your goal and overcome the odds, you’ll taste success in a different way.”

The student choral group performed for their classmates and teachers in the closing ceremonies of the program.

Winners in the essay contest were: First place, Maria Julia Abrahim; second place, Nicolas Roselli; third place, Eliana Planchon; honorable mention, Maia Charcov.
Winners in the speech contest on globalization were: First place, Maia Charcov; second place, Carlos Elcura; third place, German Villanueva.

For more information on the Jesse Helms Center Foundation, visit their web site.


Public Affairs Officer Brian Penn and John Dodd, president of the foundation. Students and officials at the conference
The choir of School No. 2 in Carmelo performs. Winners of the speech contest.
Dr. Jorge da Silveira encourages students to study hard. Jorge Lepra tells students about his experiences in business.
Officials of the foundation, the embassy and the Alianza in Carmelo Officials and winners of the speech and essay contests.


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