Juniper OpenLab Mentors 25 Students From NAF Academy at Elizabeth’s John E. Dwyer

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Since it launched its OpenLab facility in Bridgewater last year, Juniper Networks has been looking for mentoring opportunities and ways to give back to the New Jersey community. NJTechWeekly.com covered the company’s role in mentoring students from the Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology last summer.

On December 11, 2012, Juniper, along with the Verizon Wireless networks division, hosted 25 students from the National Academy Foundation (NAF) Academy of Information Technology, part of the John E. Dwyer Technology Academy (Elizabeth).

The network career workshop, held at OpenLab, involved a four-hour educational and mentoring program supported by Verizon and Juniper executives, Jerry Passione, OpenLab general manager, said. Topics covered included the Verizon and Juniper businesses, how the two companies work together, the history and architecture of the Internet, and mobile networking and its impact on society.

Students were also given a demonstration of Juniper’s security solution and how it can be used to identify and control website hackers.

The 25 students broke into smaller groups for interactive discussions with Juniper and Verizon employees about their jobs and the skills required to do them. The group was also treated to presentations on corporate values and what the companies look for in new hires.

A similar program, run by only Juniper, took place on Dec. 18, 2012, and involved 20 students from Grover Cleveland High School (Queens). The students interviewed Juniper subject-matter experts as part of a data structure and modeling program course.

Passione noted that Juniper is formalizing a corporate relationship with the NAF and many employees have engaged directly with various NAF academies in the New York/New Jersey area for mentoring.

The 30-year-old NAF creates smaller classrooms within large urban high schools and uses an educational model that includes an industry-focused curriculum, work-based learning experiences and business partner expertise in five areas: finance, hospitality and tourism, information technology, engineering and health sciences.

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