By Anya Bochman
Students in Morristown are learning first hand from alumni about job opportunities.
The Morris Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Morristown, has made it a mission to generate and distribute “financial and other resources for the Morris School District for enrichment programs and other projects aimed at enhancing the quality of education and educational opportunities for students.”
One of its programs, Colonials Alumni Mentoring Program, is part of this initiative and seeks to educate current students about job opportunities by organizing a night when successful alumni come back to discuss their career paths.
Abbreviated as C.A.M.P., the program is currently in its third year and was held on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the high school.
As part of its goal, the mentoring program paired 250 students and parents with 15 distinguished MHS alumni currently working as doctors, lawyers, engineers, business people, music and media professionals, state troopers and an anti-terror counter-intelligence specialist.
“We bring successful alumni back to share their experience and journey with students,” said Debbie Sontupe, executive director at the MEF.
The night began with Brett Yormark, class of ’84 and current CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, giving a keynote discussion moderated by four-time Emmy-nominated senior television producer and Morristown Onstage host Tara Bernie. Yormark discussed his career path, which spanned from selling Nets tickets to becoming CEO of his company, and fielded questions from students during this portion of the evening.
After the discussion, students formed small group forums to meet with alumni in seven fields to speak about potential careers. The evening concluded with a dessert reception and the MEF C.A.M.P. Night College and Career Readiness Award. Per the foundation, the $1,000 award is given to an MHS student in attendance at C.A.M.P. to support their career and college journey post-graduation. As explained by Sontupe, the funds can be applied to coursework, tuition or certification, with the only criteria that it be used for college or career development.
Besides Yormark, alumni consisted of individuals employed in diverse sectors such as Josh Gannet, ’99, music producer and sound engineer representing the arts; Liam Mulcahy, ’07, who is a corporate account executive at Mongo DB for business; and representing enginering was Andy Gallerstein, ’01, engineer at DOTGO and Eric Heiberg, ’81, principal engineer at Heiberg Engineering and Forensic Services.
Other alumni represented other fields in law, film, TV, civil service and intelligence and medicine.
“The event gives the town and school a lot of pride – it’s a very inspiring and important thing to do,” Sontupe says.