Street Law, Inc. is proud to announce that Merck & Co., Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company with a century-plus legacy of developing medicines and vaccines for the world's most challenging diseases, is the winner of its 2019 Excellence in Service Award. The award will be presented at the Street Law Awards Dinner on Wednesday, April 24th in Washington, DC. Jennifer Zachary, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Merck, will accept the award on the company’s behalf.
The Excellence in Service Award recognizes the volunteer efforts of companies, law firms, and organizations that provide exceptional community service in the form of a Street Law program. Street Law is thrilled to recognize and celebrate its more than a decade long partnership with Merck and the company’s unwavering commitment to serving young people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Since 2005, Merck has partnered with Street Law’s Legal Diversity Pipeline Program. This alliance partners Merck volunteers from its law department with students from three high schools in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania to teach them about the law and legal careers.
As part of this program, Merck offers financial assistance to exceptional students in the program. Every year, they present $500 college scholarships to five student participants from each high school. Since its inception, the scholarship program has helped over 200 high school students with college expenses.
In 2011, the success of the Pipeline Program inspired Merck to expand its work to reach more under-served youth and to include Merck employees from the law department and beyond. With Merck’s funding support, Street Law helped the company design an employee volunteer program called Making Positive Choices. This initiative brings Street Law’s empowering, law-related education lessons to vulnerable youth in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Making Positive Choices sends Merck employee volunteers, equipped with Street Law lessons and training, into local schools and to Merck sites to teach interactive lessons that promote the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that build confidence and positive career outcomes for young people as they transition into adulthood. Volunteers can choose to work with middle school students teaching a range of topics related to conflict resolution, crime prevention, and community involvement; to provide career guidance and serve as role-models to high school students as part of a career exploration program; or to teach legal life skills to youth aging out of the foster care system.
Last year, more than 100 Merck employees contributed close to 1,400 volunteer hours participating in the program, reaching over 600 young people. Making Positive Choices is largely led and sustained thanks to an active Steering Committee that recruits new volunteers and works closely with Street Law to ensure program success.
Street Law is delighted to recognize Merck’s exemplary commitment to the community with the 2019 Excellence in Service Award.