In the 12 years Minding Our Business (MOB) has been operating, Rider business students have trained and mentored more than 1,300 youths in Trenton middle schools. The children learn how to start and successfully run a business on their own.
But when MOB held an ad design contest, winning designer Amanda Yesalonia felt that the focus of her design shouldn’t be on starting a business, but on the free trip to Six Flags Great Adventure the students can earn.
“When I started, I thought about what would be the most appealing thing about this program and decided that for 11- to 14-year-olds, it would be the free trip to Six Flags Great Adventure,” the senior advertising major said. “I just made sure all of the colors were bright and fun to get their attention. I wanted to make sure I incorporated a little more information about MOB and what exactly they would be doing in the program.”
Rider’s Marketing and Advertising Student Association (MASA) sponsored the contest. Out of the 18 high quality entries submitted by Rider students, Yesalonia prevailed with her colorful design, winning $50.
MOB is a community outreach program targeted to advance the personal and vocational development of urban youths in Trenton middle schools through entrepreneurship education and mentoring. Research data on academics shows that MOB participation reduces absenteeism and tardiness. Students also have shown increases in self-esteem, more interest in attending college and a greater incentive to open self-run businesses.
“My life dream is to own a business,” said one participant in the MOB program. “MOB made me more confident about achieving my dream. MOB didn’t just keep me out of trouble during the summer. I learned a great deal, and my desire to have a business keeps growing.”
Founder Dr. Sigfredo Hernandez has much to be proud of. The College of Business’ MOB program received recognition by John Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning as one of the top 20 summer programs in the country.
Aside from the 1,300 youths whom MOB has inspired, the program wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of the Rider students involved in making MOB a working organization. Since MOB’s creation, more than 285 students in the College of Business Administration have mentored Trenton’s students.
Written reactions by Rider students about the MOB experience demonstrate the effect it has on them. One undergraduate said no other program at Rider could compare.
“I learned that I’m capable of helping others,” another student said. “I have some things in common with all of [the] children. I am definitely not the same person that I was in the beginning.”
MOB has the ability to inspire Trenton’s youth as well as provide life-changing learning experiences for Rider’s business students. With this organization, Rider hopes to continue making changes in today’s world, one student at a time.
Design contest runners-up Rachael Nitti, a senior advertising major, and Jeff Hersch, a freshman journalism major, were also awarded monetary prizes for their efforts in MASA’s contest.
Yesalonia’s winning design will be displayed in Sweigart Hall on the Marketing Department’s News Board. It will also be published in MASA’s newsletter.