PATERSON, NJ- Eighth graders at Paterson’s New Roberto Clement School got the chance to hear from 11 professionals in a variety of fields on Friday as part of the Student Success Business Program.

Founded by Mitch Morrison, the Student Success Business Program has been delivering free student career day programs, student business tours and entrepreneurial seminars for five years to thousands of economically-challenged students.  

Earlier this year the program also organized an opportunity for students at Paterson’s HARP Academy of Health Science to visit the Morristown Medical Center (MMC) and the NJ Sharing Network (NJSN). Previous student business tours have visited the corporate headquarters of BASF, Wyndham Worldwide, and Express Scripts.

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Following that visit Morrison said that “the reach of the Student Success Program is limited only by the willingness of students to learn about new careers, and business leader’s willingness to give their time to mentor future generations.” Friday’s event, according to Morrison, was “extraordinary” with students getting the chance to “listen and ask pointed questions,” about professions including the law, marketing, health care, education and more. 

The program, Morrison concluded, gave the students “a better understanding of possible careers and the journey involved,” in achieving success in them.

Thinking back to her own school days Michelle Abate, Vice President, Client Services at Market Smith said that the students were more “engaged and curious” then she was at their age and that the their “desire to understand and engage regarding potential careers and expand their knowledge base was evident.” 

Another one of the professionals that spoke on Friday said that she was “amazed” to see the attention and interest the students gave to the discussions. A Partner at Fraser Cerra, Janine M. Cerra, Esq., told the students it wasn’t just the educational requirements that matter for the job, but also the character and passion necessary to represent clients. Many students, she said, spoke of their desire to become defense lawyers, and she, in turn “encouraged them to stick to their goals, no matter what might stand in their way, and to always choose the right path with hard work.”