Family Service League Mentor Program Ends with 'Food for Thought' Competition

NUTLEY, N.J., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Three teams of ninth-graders will present to a panel of judges at the Roche Pro Institute competition today. The students, who are completing a nine-month program created by FSL and supported by Roche, will receive a $500 scholarship for college, with each member of the winning team walking away with a $1,000 award. The pilot program, a partnership between Roche and the non-profit Family Service League (FSL), was designed to bring students into a professional setting and provide them with a meaningful connection between academic training and professional opportunities.

The students, from Irvington, Montclair, Orange and West Orange, were selected based on their motivation to develop new academic skills and their desire for professional exposure. Since the summer of 2007, the students have met twice each month; once with their professional mentor at Roche, and once with their advisor at FSL completing assignments in between the meetings.

"Students receive academic enrichment in research and writing and learn professional skills such as public speaking and team work," says Sarah Wolman, Executive Director, FSL. "Through their interactions with Roche mentors -- scientists, marketing executives, and business managers -- the students begin to understand project development and management in a professional setting."

As a final project, each student team is preparing a proposal about how to improve the nutritional value of food in schools while appealing to the teenage market. The teams choose a strategy, which could include creating a cafeteria menu and/or a new product that is nutritious, appealing to teenagers and profitable. They also prepared a business plan and each student will present a portion to the judges: Ed Remsen, Mayor of Montclair; Greg Place, FSL Board Member; and Carolyn Glynn, Vice President, Public Affairs, Roche, who will then select the winning team.

About Family Service League

Established in Montclair in 1881, the mission of Family Service League is to strengthen and support families in need in Essex County through counseling, education and social services. The agency's programs include: the Family Counseling Program, with offices in Montclair and Bloomfield; the Family Day Nursery School in Bloomfield; the Essex County Rape Care Center (ECRCC); school based social skills and mental health programs for middle and high school students; the Roche Pro Institute, which offers academic enrichment and professional mentoring to high school students; domestic violence services; community wellness programs that include workshops and groups; and crisis services for individuals, families and communities. All of the agency's programs target low income families and individuals who cannot afford services.

About Roche

Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), based in Nutley, N.J., is the U.S. pharmaceuticals headquarters of the Roche Group, one of the world's leading research-oriented healthcare groups with core businesses in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. For more than 100 years in the U.S., Roche has been committed to developing innovative products and services that address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, thus enhancing people's health and quality of life. For additional information about the U.S. pharmaceuticals business, visit our website http://www.rocheusa.com. Product and treatment information for U.S. healthcare professionals is available at www.RocheExchange.com.

SOURCE Roche

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