Medical student residents of Century Towers Apartments participated in a Valentine’s Day Scavenger hunt along Independence Avenue Friday afternoon in an event designed to better acquaint students with the international business community in Historic Northeast.
Armed with a Northeast Chamber of Commerce Find It wheel and a Northeast Mural map, hunters were tasked with checking in electronically at a variety of businesses along the Avenue, each in a different category.
“Our idea is to promote our International Marketplace to the students of Century Towers and KCU” said Bobbi Baker Hughes, Northeast Chamber President.
Roughly six student teams fanned out on the Avenue to electronically check in at area mural sites and local businesses.
Ermal Hassalu a third year student from Albania via New York City was thrilled upon checking in at Sharif Store at Independence and Prospect to learn that the store manager is from Somalia and also a proficient soccer player. “When you’re raised in such a diverse place like New York City, you have to learn to adapt and an easy way to do that is through soccer” Hassalu said. “I could easily tell by his body motions he played soccer so we had a great conversation about his favorite teams and it’s something I would have never undertaken if not for this scavenger hunt idea” Hassalu concluded.
Leah Ramaekers, a KCU student from Carroll, Iowa summed up the hunt experience in one sentence. “If I live in Kansas City and the only place I go is Power and Light, do I actually really know and understand the Kansas City experience.”
Gia Crownover, the property manager at Century Towers was thrilled to see students exploring their community. “Its really fun to see these kids get excited about the neighborhood” she said.
Teams checked in electronically from area businesses on the social media pages of Century Towers, The Northeast News and the Northeast Chamber of Commerce. Cash prizes were awarded the teams with the most points.
Kim Hwang from Union City, California was excited to venture back in to the neighborhood to visit places they missed on Friday. “We really had a great experience, and really liked the initiative to get us more involved with the community” Hwang said. “We’re gonna do it all again next weekend.”
The event could become a regular part of Northeast Chamber programming said Baker Hughes. “We’d really like to do this more often given the enthusiasm these students have for the neighborhood.”