FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Monday, March 6, 2017
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
Scott Overland
Pearson
202-909-4520

Pearson Announces Career Exploration Mentorship Program for Students, Young Professionals with Disabilities

Collaboration with National Federation of the Blind brings decades of experience preparing blind and low vision students for career success

Today Pearson, in collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), announced the launch of a new career exploration mentorship program for college students and recent graduates who have disabilities. The program will begin as a pilot, combining the NFB’s expertise in mentoring and advocating for career opportunities for blind and low-vision students and Pearson’s commitment to providing mentorship to a wide range of students with disabilities. The program will provide participants with access to guidance, advice, and support from experienced professionals working in a variety of legal-related positions at Pearson.

Blind, low vision and students with disabilities often face low expectations or unnecessary roadblocks when identifying and pursuing career paths.  This can result in a ‘channeling’ into jobs that they are not passionate about or that limit their true potential. Participants in this three-month pilot program will be paired with a mentor who has been specifically trained on how to guide and advise blind or disabled students who may be unfamiliar with the opportunities and preparation necessary to succeed in corporate environments. Mentors work in a variety of functions on the Pearson legal team and will help students access a breadth of resources – from meetings with senior leaders to advice on preparing and tackling education and career goals to building a resume and identifying interesting internships and jobs.

“I am excited and proud at the level of enthusiasm we have seen in Pearson’s legal department as we have prepared to announce this program. Our goal is simple, yet incredibly important: to help guide young professionals who are disabled to find the career opportunities that match their passions,” said Bjarne Tellmann, general counsel for Pearson. “With the experience and partnership of the NFB, we want to open the door to careers that many young, disabled people didn’t know existed or were accessible to them, and support them as they take the next step in their professional lives.”

“For over seventy-five years, the National Federation of the Blind has fostered mentoring relationships in order to raise the expectations of the blind and to help them achieve their dreams and live the lives they want. Partnering with Pearson is a natural outgrowth of this important work, allowing aspiring blind professionals to establish mentoring relationships with their peers and obtain career guidance that will increase the odds of success. We look forward to working with Pearson to build this program and get more blind people on the pathway to the board rooms of major corporations around the world,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind.

Students can begin applying for the pilot program immediately by e-mailing Elizabeth Delfs at elizabeth.delfs(at)pearsoned(dot)com. Pearson and the NFB hope to continue and expand the program past the pilot stage.