Luis Zamora, who co-founded the successful program to help local small businesses, “Help Me Help You,” was recognized as “Student of the Block” for the fifth block at Tusculum College.
Zamora was presented the award during a ceremony Feb. 28 at the college, in which he was highly praised by four faculty members of the School of Business. A native of Santiago, Chile, Zamora is a senior majoring in business administration with a double concentration in general management and economics and international economics with a minor in civic engagement.
Active on campus throughout his four years as a student, he is one of the founding members of the Help Me Help You program, an international non-profit organization that brings small businesses and entrepreneurs together with students to provide needed services to the owners and allow students to apply the skills and knowledge they are learning in the classroom. The program has been recognized by the Clinton Foundation for its impact on the region as well as global community.
In addition, Zamora is one of the founding members of an outgrowth of the program, the Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, which is composed of seven divisions and more than 20 programs geared towards helping satisfy business-related needs and interests of small business owners, students, entrepreneurs, individuals and family members.
He was also a founding member of the Student Abroad and Global Awareness (SAGA) student organization and led the Bonner Leader student service organization as its director and Bonner senior intern. He serves as a resident assistant and a former captain of the Pioneer Men’s Tennis Team.
At the ceremony presenting the award, Dr. Antonio Bos, professor of business administration, said that while Zamora’s intelligence, hard work, determination and commitment to serve others are praiseworthy, what sets him apart from others is his ability to overcome a “no” he might be told in pursuit of achieving a goal or completing a project.
“In the more than 200 years of Tusculum history, you will not find a student who has accomplished more to help others in his time at Tusculum than Luis Zamora,” said Dr. Bos, who nominated Zamora for the award along with Dr. Michelle Freeman, associate professor of business administration. Bos added that the significant impact Zamora has made is felt not only by his fellow students, but also his professors, college administration and staff, business owners and leaders and his influence will be felt for many years to come
Dr. Freeman described Zamora as one of the most intelligent, motivated, compassionate and fearless students she has taught. She recalled that Zamora as a freshman had taken her Accounting Principles I course, a sophomore level course, and made the highest grade in the class.
“As a freshman, Luis came to Tusculum to make a difference,” she wrote in her nomination. “He has. Luis, against all odds, founded an organization, which has built new bridges between Tusculum College students, faculty and the local community at large. In creating this organization, he has changed the business student culture at Tusculum. Students who work with Luis strive to be better. They strive to learn more. He is infectious with energy and persuades others to be as well.”
Dr. Sunday Igoni, assistant professor of business administration, said he also enjoyed teaching Zamora and said he has been impressed by his concern for others and how he has used his knowledge to help others and add value to their lives and society.
Dr. McFarland, director of the School of Business and professor of business administration, also commended Zamora for his achievement in the classroom and in his service to others.
Robin Fife, assistant professor of social science, also spoke, recalling how she met Zamora as a freshman in his interview for entrance into the Bonner Leader program. However, she said, it turned into an interview of her about the program as he questioned how the program would help him in his desire to serve others.
Reflecting on his time at Tusculum, Zamora said, “When thinking about personal contributions to Tusculum College and the community at large I cannot address it or refer to it as my own contributions. In my four years here, several changes have been made and the future seems very promising, but I cannot attribute it to my actions.”
Encouragement from professors, he said, inspired him and as he made friends, a group of students began to form that began “ creating change within the school and the community,” he continued. “This group included people from diverse backgrounds, origins, positions, and ages. Students, professors, community members, administration and staff altogether became united in a common goal of creating a better environment within Greene County. Now, what was our biggest achievement? We all created a place, a school and a community in which everyone plays a part in making Greeneville grow and the people develop both personally and professionally.”