Sunday, September 13, 2009
Rider University’s Minding Our Business (M.O.B.) project recently received a $15,000 grant from the Princeton Area Community Foundation, which includes support from the Harbourton Foundation.
M.O.B., a community outreach project of Rider’s College of Business Administration, offers spring, summer and advanced programs. The project seeks to advance the personal and vocational development of youth, ages 10 to 14, through entrepreneurship and mentoring.
The grant made it possible for M.O.B. to run its second summer session this year.
“We are especially grateful to the foundations, and were very happy to receive the grant,” said Dr. Sigfredo Hernandez, director and cofounder of M.O.B. “Just three weeks before the start of the second session, we were unsure whether we’d be able to run the program or not due to inadequate funding, a result of the bad economy.”
This year, a total of 42 students from Trenton Public Schools learned how to start and run their own business during the summer sessions. A professional staff taught the students a variety of business skills, ranging from marketing and communications to sales techniques and business planning. Students not only had a chance to test their entrepreneurial skills by selling their wares at market fairs, but their reading, writing and math skills improved.
Deborah Aubert Thomas, director of Grants and Programs at the Community Foundation, visited the Summer Program in July. “We are pleased to support M.O.B. as a model program emphasizing active learning and advancing positive youth development,” Aubert Thomas said.
The students who participated in this year’s summer sessions represented various schools in Trenton, including Carroll Robbins Annex Elementary School, Grant Elementary School, Gregory Elementary School, Hedgepeth Williams Elementary School, Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, Monument Elementary School, Mott Elementary School, Patton J. Hill Elementary School, and Stokes Elementary School.
In 2009, for the second year in a row, M.O.B. summer program reached the final round of the Summer Learning Excellence Award Competition by the prestigious National Center for Summer Learning at John Hopkins University. The summer program also received the Best Practice Award in Entrepreneurship Education at the Small Business Institute 2009 National Conference in Florida.