The Bordentown-based not-for-profit Minority Business Development Institute held its second annual Golf Outing and Youth Initiative launch July 20 at the Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg. The event advanced MBDI’s mission of promoting diversity and equality through education and advocacy, and breaking down barriers to success for women and minority business owners.
Joe Jingoli of Joseph Jingoli and Son, a national contractor dedicated to training and utilizing minority-owned businesses on its construction projects, was the keynote speaker. Kerri Jew, deputy commissioner of NYC Small Business Services, also spoke at the event.
As a part of its Youth Initiative, MBDI awarded its first “Athletes Mean Business” Scholarship honoring Devin Douthit and Lauren Sontupe, recent Bordentown Regional High School graduates who illustrated that their dedication to team sports helped them to overcome adversity and lay a platform for future success. Ambassador Jack Brewer, a business leader, philanthropist and retired NFL player, presented the awards.
Sontupe, whose father suffers from advanced multiple sclerosis, raised over $5,000 for MS research, in addition to being captain of the field hockey team and working part time to help her family. She will attend Stockton College to study speech language pathology in the fall.
Douthit mentored younger students at BRHS, in addition to serving as captain of the football team and working multiple jobs to help out at home. He will attend Burlington County Community College and hopes to become a state trooper.
Also honored were athletes who volunteered at the event: recent BHRS graduates Dominick Nemeth and Brion Teel Scott, senior Victoria Drake, and Junior Golfer Dan Malloy, a Northern Burlington High School graduate.
MBDI helps to create local, prevailing wage jobs through its capacity building programs that position business owners for sustainable growth.
With the launch of the Youth Initiative, MBDI seeks to educate young people about the importance of personal finance to their future success. By reaching high school and trade school students in the Trenton area before they get that first credit card application, MBDI hopes to prepare them to be the small business leaders of tomorrow.