Top entrepreneurs and an array of businesspeople throughout the summer have focused their efforts on raising funds to assist area youth organizations located in Western Pennsylvania through the hosting of golf outings.
“Our Youth Entrepreneur Scholarship Golf Outing is a call to action to support the education and development of youth and entrepreneurs through scholarships,” said Valarie J. Cofield, president and CEO of the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council.
Building on the success of last year’s event, she said EMSDC continued its partnership with All Star Code, The Business Center for Social and Economic Justice Annual Youth Entrepreneur Camp and the UNCF (United Negro College Fund).
All Star Code is a computer science education organization focused on preparing young Black and Latino men for careers in technology.
Based in Northwest Philadelphia, The Business Center provides educational and business networking tools necessary to strengthen the minority business ecosystem. Its Annual Youth & Money Summer Enrichment Entrepreneurship programs teach youth ages 7-18 the skills necessary to start and run a business.
Known for the phrase, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste,” UNCF provides financial support to assist minority students to attend college and advocates for the importance of minority education and community engagement. The EMSDC fundraiser also supports the ongoing fund for Minority Business Enterprises to attend advanced education training programs at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and/or the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.
With a commitment to Western Pa. as a locally owned and operated company, Derrick Wilson, president and CEO of The Wilson Group, says his organization functions as much more than a vendor of document workflow solutions. “One of our core values and Golden Rule is to treat customers the way we would want to be treated, our record of giving back, and being a partner in the community is our way.”
During the company’s fourth annual customer appreciation golf outing, The Wilson Group gave a donation that was matched by SHARP to Family Resources.
Focused on creating a better future for children, Family Resources is described as providing families and neighborhoods the tools they need to keep children safe, prevent abuse, manage conflict and support the changing needs of families. Reporting to assist more than 3,500 families and children yearly, its resources, tools and programs focus on prevention, intervention and treatment with a physical presence in 21 neighborhoods in the greater Pittsburgh area.
Wilson also served as chairman of the 24th Annual Imhotep Mentoring and Scholarship Golf Outing sponsored by 100 Black Men of Western Pennsylvania Inc. He credits the group for impacting the lives of hundreds of the region’s future leaders while providing a solid educational, cultural, health and wellness and economic foundation and preparing them for the challenges of adulthood and post-secondary education.
“In order to continue the path we want to go, which is to build our next generation of young people, the essential tools needed are role models, resources and access.”
Citing Alexander “Nick” Nichols as his role model throughout his career, Wilson said there is a need for more men like him. “When I was 22 years old and just getting started in the copier business, Nick, the owner of Computer Friend at the time, was the first business I sold a copier to. From that he built confidence and belief in me that has inspired me to be who I am today. As I think throughout my whole career, when I looked up I’ve had the support of Nick. It’s because of him and other people from when I grew up on the North Side in Manchester that have contributed to who I am today. It is our responsibility as Black men to do that for our youth as they come up. It’s our responsibility to be good examples of who they can be. What they see is what they become and what they believe.”
It was later announced that Al Valentine was elected president of the local 100 Black Men chapter. Also, the chapter honored business icon, Willard “Dwight” Mayo Sr., who passed away in December. Mayo operated a car wash business at UPMC and grew it to become a transportation business serving UPMC facilities.
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