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How High Is Up? The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of a Sam M. Walton SIFE Fellow by Curtis L. DeBerg
A Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow turns away from Students in Free Enterprise.

Curtis DeBerg has written three books in one. First, [How High is Up?] is an unusually intriguing story of an academic life, which actually makes the accounting profession seem exciting! Second, it provides a spirited, inside account of a scandal plagued organization, Students in Free Enterprise. ... And finally, Professor DeBerg’s narrative offers readers important insights into the conservative, evangelical business culture propagated by companies like Wal-Mart. …

—Nelson Lichtenstein, University of California, Santa Barbara. Author of The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business.

This book is a compelling read about [DeBerg’s] struggle to nurture SAGE [Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship] and grow it to more than twenty countries and counting—one part educational, two parts suspenseful, and three parts uplifting. It certainly wasn’t easy: His personal, unsavory experience with SIFE could easily have left him bitter. Instead, it just made him more tenacious.

—Jerr Boschee Cofounder, Social Enterprise Alliance, Founder and Executive Director, The Institute for Social Entrepreneurs

There is a valuable message in How High Is Up? For me, the message was about overcoming adversity and pressing on to reach your goals. It was about the trail you take to reach your destination and about how to stay true to yourself. … Dr. DeBerg’s memoir is definitely worth reading.

—Adrian Lazaro Sherrod, Student, CSU, Chico, Two-Time All-American, Cross-Country (2012, 2013)

How High Is Up? is an excellent piece of work. … Professor DeBerg educates readers about how a great vision has become reality … he provides a unique, insider’s perspective about the real world of corporate politics and the practice of self-proclaimed servant leaders. …

—Kofi A. Obeng, Assistant Financial Analyst, University of Westminster, London, U.K. Member of the SAGE Ghana Board of Directors, President, 2004 University of Cape Coast SIFE president (Ghana national champions)

This is a good read, a revealing reflection on organizational dynamics from a passionate believer in the global vision of civic engagement and entrepreneurship education.

—Alfred Konuwa, Vice President, Academic and Student Services, Woodland Community College

Part memoir, part expose, part manifesto, it takes the reader on an intellectual journey into the uses and abuses of community service programs. DeBerg is a fine storyteller, and his personal energy and vision radiate from every page. The story he tells is especially timely given the choice our country—and our planet—faces as to how and for whose benefit we marshal the creative energies of a market economy.

—Edward A. Zlotkowski, Professor, English and Media Studies, Bentley University, 2010, Lifetime Achievement Award for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, International Conference on Service-Learning and Engaged Research

This book gives a glimpse into the potential of service learning to do good, for both students on a campus and residents in a community. Just as importantly, this book tells me that academics and scholars can have a laudable, palpable impact upon society if they make applied research the highest priority, for which, after years of service learning, there is still much room for growth.

—Van Ajemian, JD, SAGE Board Member

All entrepreneurs will relate to Professor DeBerg’s story in How High Is Up? It is one of fighting the odds, challenging authority, and being tagged the “wild one” because he dared to think outside the proverbial box. Like most entrepreneurs DeBerg did not give in or give up. He followed the path he knew to be right—first, to show high school students the power business ownership has to transform lives and offer hope, and second, to help stimulate youth entrepreneurship on a global scale.

—Rieva Lesonsky, CEO, GrowBiz Media. Former Editorial Director, Entrepreneur Magazine, Former Board Member, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)

With Curt’s inspiration, dedication and energy, he has created the SAGE program. SAGE taps into the creative energy of all its participants. Most importantly, he gives young people the chance to reach their full potential and to truly believe that they can change the world for the better.

—Irina Dannikova,  Tula Teachers’ Retraining Institute, Tula, Russia SAGE Asia Continental Co-Coordinator

This book should be required reading for emerging leaders in academia, as well as the public and private sectors, particularly in Africa. In Africa, there is an urgent need to create and mobilize social entrepreneurs, who are beginning to tackle the numerous challenges of poverty and conflicts that visionless leadership has, for decades, spread throughout the continent. … How High Is Up? is a valuable source of inspiration and motivation for change makers.”

—Agwu Amogu, SAGE Nigeria CEO, SAGE Africa Continental Coordinator, Abuja, Nigeria

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