L-R: Street Law's Judy Zimmer, consultant Joe Caliguire, Merck's Karen Margiotto
October 31, 2016
In 2005, Merck & Co., Inc. and Street Law began a long, fruitful relationship that has enabled hundreds of Merck employees to give back to their communities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania by teaching Street Law. The company first signed on as an early site for Street Law’s Legal Diversity Pipeline Program with a local high school. In 2011, the success of the Pipeline Program inspired Merck to expand its work to vulnerable local youths and to include Merck employees from the law department and beyond.
With the support of the Merck Foundation, Street Law designed an employee volunteer program called Making Positive Choices. This initiative brings Street Law’s empowering, law-related education lessons to vulnerable youths in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Making Positive Choices consists of three volunteer tracks:
- Youth in Transition – Merck employees teach young people in foster care about law and the legal system and develop in them the skills to use that knowledge to successfully transition into adulthood.
- Community Works – Merck employees partner with middle school health classes to teach about crime and crime prevention in a way that is useful to young people in their everyday lives.
- Career Exploration – Merck employees help high school students consider their skills and interests and explore possible career paths. Volunteers also provide advice on searching and interviewing for jobs, employee and employer rights and responsibilities, and how to handle conflict with in the workplace.
In 2016, more than 50 Merck employees offered a total of 300 volunteer hours, reaching over 350 students in both school and community settings!
For more information about Street Law’s partnership program with Merck, or to learn more about how Street Law can implement an employee volunteer program at your company or firm, please contact Yolanda Johnson.
(Reproduced with permission)
Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Program
Legal Life Skills for Youths
Topic: Civic & Law-Related Education
Topic: Youth Advocacy