East Orange Teens Join Multicultural Team To Learn About Career Options in Corporate Mentoring Program

Pictured are, left to right, Maimoonah Abdul-Hakeem, a junior at Ahlus Sunnah School;  Joel Kellam, a senior at St. Benedicts Preparatory School; and Hikmah Okoya, a sophomore at North Star College Preparatory High School participating in marketing presentation challenge Credits: Ravenwood Photo

EAST HANOVER, NJ – The 2015 Multicultural Teen Corporate Mentoring Program hosted by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) in East Hanover brought nearly 135 students from 28 schools, including East Orange based Ahlus Sunnah School, Cicely Tyson School of Performing Arts, East Orange Campus High School, and East Orange STEM Academy together with NPC employees, for a four-day event 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. 

This culturally diverse group of middle school and high school students spent time participating in activities designed to help them set higher personal, academic, and career goals by introducing them to successful multicultural role models and exposing them to range of career options.

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

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In this program we were constantly learning,” said Claudel Fontus, a 16 year-old sophomore at East Orange STEM Academy.  “I like how we were split into groups of different types of people to work with.  This helped me to make new friends and learn to cooperate and work among each other.  Also, the mentoring program helped me learn some of the things in detail that employees here do every day.”

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. 

About Novartis

Located in East Hanover, NJ, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2014, the Group achieved net sales of USD 58 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). As of December 31, 2014 Novartis Group companies employed approximately 133,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in more than 180 countries around the world.

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