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Sparta Resident Continues Efforts of Student Business Program

The Alternative Press Staff

Friday, June 13, 2014 • 8:07pm

SPARTA, NJ- On June 3, 2014, the students from the Paterson Public School System School #18 visited the corporate headquarters of Express Scripts, Wyndham Hotels and BASF Corporation as part of The Student Business  Program.  Sparta resident Mitch Morrison had organized the trip for the gifted students of Paterson school #18.  Organizer of theSussex County Business Competition and co-founder of the NJ Tour de Farm and Sparta Farmers Market, Morrison called on friends and associates to help provide the opportunity for these students to tour these high profile  businesses in New Jersey.

“This program offers students a possible vision of their future.  It offers the opportunity to learn about economics, business, career opportunities, entrepreneurship, business etiquette, job hunting, creating a business plan and a so-called On Ramp for their financial future,” according to Morrison, the CEO of SBP.  “The Paterson School District’s vision is to become a state leader in educating urban youth. SBP will help the Paterson School System with this vision and the other schools systems with their vision to succeed.”

Melissa Moyette-Wright, guidance counselor from Paterson School #18, said, “Bringing students on tours of real world corporations provided insight for the students that they could only get by actually setting foot into these business offices. From sitting in a board room at Express Scripts, to viewing the employee amenities at the corporate headquarters of Wyndham Hotels, and learning about the innovative products of BASF Corporation, Paterson Public School No. 18's National Junior Honor Society students learned of the opportunities that could be available to them in the real world. We are grateful to The Student Business Program. "

Moyette-Wright went on to say, “They learned that no matter what their interest, these corporations had careers available to them and that by working hard and pursuing a college degree, they too could have the opportunity to work at a place like the ones we visited. As their school counselor and National Junior Honor Society adviser it was great to see their faces light up and listen to their excited chatter about the great things they saw on these tours.”

Their first stop was at Express Scripts (ESI). ESI is a Fortune 100 company as of 2013, the 20th-largest in the United States and is the largest pharmacy benefit management organization in the United States. Every day ESI handles more than one million prescriptions through retail pharmacies networks and home delivery facilities.

At ESI, the students visited the Board Room where the speakers included Susan Stith, the Diversity, Inclusion and Corporate Giving senior director, Chantelle Martino, the Human Resources senior director, and Brian Cavanagh, the Digital Marketing senior director. They provided insights about the company, its diversity and inclusion culture and the wide-variety of career opportunities that exist within Express Scripts. 

According to Alex Krynicki from Express Scripts, "ESI is leader in a Fortune 24 company, and, as someone who participated in a similar visit many years ago, it was my privilege to host a very engaged and enthusiastic group of students. I am encouraged to see students, faculty members, and volunteers who are taking initiative to observe, learn and experience what career opportunities are out there."

The next stop was Wyndham Hotels. Wyndham is the global leader in travel accommodations which has more than 4,000 employees. Wyndham offers brands in lodging franchising, vacation ownership, vacation rentals and vacation exchange. It is composed of approximately 7,400 hotels under 15 brands spanning 66 countries and six continents.

"The most gratifying part of the visit was the question and answer session,” according to Jeffrey Esquillo, Wyndham Hotels LEED GA. “When I asked if anyone had questions, the students asked things such as what skills they need to have to work here and what school subjects they need to excel at to get a job at Wyndham. It was great to see such interest and enthusiasm in our company which we hope helps to motivate the students to do well in school.”

The last stop was the North America headquarter for BASF in Florham Park, NJ. BASF is the world’s leading chemical company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. They combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, they enable their customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Their products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life.

“BASF certainly understands the importance of engaging students in science education at an early age,” said Donna Jakubowski, Communications Manager, BASF North America. “We hope to encourage students to become interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects in school and help them to understand the link between education and rewarding careers.”

According to Morrison, “We are extremely pleased to have these corporations step up and partner with the Paterson School System. We are seeking forward thinking businesses who would like to participate.”

Morrison has taken eighth grade students from Sparta Middle School on similar tours over the past few years.  The high achieving students in the gifted and talented program, along with Principal Doug Layman and a few parent chaperones,  visited the Dodge Foundation’s LEED building in Morristown, HIgh Point Solutions is Sparta, Rudolph Technologies in Randolph, BASF in Florham Park and Wyndham as well.

Please email Mitch Morrison at mitchell.morrison5@mac.com if your business would like to participate the Student Business Program.

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