Ari Sernik

Degree: BBA in International Business

College/School: College of Business

Ari Sernik became a social entrepreneur long before he studied the subject. During a trip across Asia after serving in the Israeli army, Ari volunteered with Sunflower Orphanage, a Cambodian group that cares for HIV-positive children. He couldn’t get them out of his mind. So, when back in Florida, he arranged an auction of the children’s artwork, working with a professor from Broward College, where he studied before transferring to FIU.

The $2,000 raised helped the orphanage, while revealing to Ari a career path combining his entrepreneurial energy with his drive to help others. Studying with FIU President Emeritus Modesto A. Maidique helped Ari build competence in bringing community stakeholders together. Adjunct Professor Robert Hacker’s social entrepreneurship class provided tools to help reach his dreams.

With FIU colleagues Ari established Ten-Yad (“Give a Hand” in Hebrew), designed to help other children’s charities establish their brand and sell handicrafts. His idea won the “Shark Tank” themed pitch session before the FIU Foundation Board of Directors. He still continues to work with Sunflower.

Ari has also committed to the Nyah Project, which focuses on developing leaders from underserved communities in Miami through transformative experiences abroad. It will all be preparation for his post-graduate life, where Ari expects to work in business development and keep expanding his vision by traveling the world.

By Karen-Janine Cohen