UNC students aim to fill gaps in BIPOC business leadership

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At the peak of the pandemic, most people started new hobbies or got pets. UNC Junior Devon Triplett has gone a different route and founded a non-profit organization, Bridging the Gap.

BTG is a nationwide 501(c)(3) that started in January 2021. According to the organization’s website, the group is committed to increasing representation in the business world and providing unprecedented financial opportunities for students. Triplett said she hopes BTG can transform the business community by identifying, developing and connecting with her future BIPOC business leaders.

Triplett says he was a freshman at UNC when he created his vision for the company out of the comfort of his childhood bedroom. A first-generation student, with the help of his “underdog” mindset, he set out to make an impact in the community.

“For me, having just entered college, I desperately wanted these opportunities and was willing to work hard to make them happen.

Triplett admitted that he faced some challenges and questions along the way. He said his love of helping and consulting people was instilled in him by his grandparents.

He said his grandfather didn’t make much money because he was a lawyer representing underprivileged individuals. However, much like Triplets, he was primarily concerned with helping others.

Two of his cousins ​​died of opioid addiction when Triplett was in high school. He said this moved him to create and lead a summit that would help reduce the stigma of addiction. This summit was the first of his leadership ventures.

The summit was a success and was covered by multiple media outlets including ABC13 and Blue Ridge Public Radio.

“I’ve seen jobs I could do in high school,” Triplett said. “And I think that’s where I was able to get past my limiting beliefs.”

BTG currently represents 52 universities and has four partnerships through a network of over 130 students.

BTG’s current Chief Operating Officer, Eugenia Trakal, discovered BTG through LinkedIn in late 2021.

“Since we launched in January 2021, we have seen the number of followers and their influence,” says Trakal. “The impact they had on him in just one year was like, ‘This is totally insane,’ so I wanted to be on board.”

Trakal is currently a sophomore at Arizona State University and has had a lot of success thanks to BTG. Not only did the company prepare her for her career and fulfill her dream internship at Goldman Sachs, she said it gave her the motivation and confidence she needed for her application.

He said the most rewarding thing for the triplets is to see his BTG family thrive. Their group chat, he said, celebrates whenever individuals get an internship or job offer.

“So it’s a lot of fun and a lot of them believe in BTG’s success, which is really great,” he said.

He continues to further develop his mission at BTG. The company recently began working to help students pursue higher education, beginning with his postponed MBA program.

The Group’s former COO, Kana Cummings, is a Stanford graduate student who recently enrolled in the Harvard Business School’s deferred MBA program.

“I am grateful to BTG and recognized early on for giving me this opportunity,” Cummings said. I hope that I will be able to get into the school of my choice.”

Triplett said he was equally grateful and hoped BTG would help more students and diversify the business community.

“I think it’s great what we’re doing now. It’s something I’m proud of.


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