EAST HANOVER, NJ – A culturally diverse group of middle school and high school students spent their spring break participating in activities designed to help them set higher personal, academic and career goals. They were introduced to successful multicultural role models and exposed to range of career options during the 17th Annual  2015 Multicultural Teen Corporate Mentoring Program hosted by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) in East Hanover.

The four-day event in brought nearly 135 students from 28 schools, including West Orange High School, together with NPC employees to engage in mentoring and job shadowing, a career and college fair, panel discussions with senior company leaders, a mock product marketing challenge, and a community service project.

On the first day of the program, the students enjoyed a visit from New Jersey Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno.

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“Never let your gender, the color of your skin, your religion, or your wherewithal get in the way of what you want to do,” she told the students. “Get the best education you can so that you can take risks. You will have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

“This program has encouraged me to continue to pursue being a biomedical engineer,” said Isaiah Beals, 16, a junior West Orange High School.

One of the company’s many philanthropic initiatives, since its inception the program has mentored more than 900 students, several of whom returned to NPC as interns during their college years.