Woodbridge Township and the Zuckerberg Institute announced the formation of a Post Pandemic Task Force comprised of Woodbridge Township high school students supporting local businesses while being mentored by global leaders in Silicon Valley.
“I am pleased to report that Woodbridge Township and the Zuckerberg Institute have established a partnership and collaboration to create an amazing opportunity for our Buy Local businesses and students from our three high schools,” Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac said in a prepared statement. “School administration, principals and teachers selected 15 students to participate in this initiative that will engage our community’s small businesses that were affected or impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Conceptualized by Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media, and the team at Zuckerberg Institute, the Post Pandemic Task Force helps students develop initiatives designed to aid businesses navigate the post pandemic economy, according to the statement.
The students will interact with successful business leaders within Zuckerberg Institute’s network in Silicon Valley, obtain their advice and suggestions while working directly with Randi Zuckerberg and the leaders of Zuckerberg Institute to develop plans, which could include assisting businesses with social media and helping them implement creative ideas, according to the statement.
The student leaders are Jasleen Dhaliwal, Madison Ferreira, Brandon Ribeiro and Muhammad Warraich from Colonia High School; Himit Shah, Dhruv Patel, Krish B. Patel and Anuj Patel from John F. Kennedy Memorial High School; and Shakeel Guerrier, Angela Montauban, Meaghan Motz, Michael Nycz, Nathaniel Elson, Isabel Reyes and Taylor Deliman from Woodbridge High School.
Caroline Ehrlich, Woodbridge Township chief of staff and director of Redevelopment, was on a site visit at the Station Village apartments when Sam Freidman, a project executive from Atlantic Realty Development, connected Ehrlich to Michael Littig, co-founder of the Zuckerberg Institute, said Megan Kushpa of the Mayor’s Office of Communications.
Freidman referred Woodbridge Township to Littig’s Post Pandemic Task Force program because of the passion McCormac and Ehrlich have for supporting small businesses and buying local, Kushpa said.
Once Ehrlich and Littig connected, they hit the ground running and knew Woodbridge Township businesses along with the high school students would be a great fit for this program, she said.
The Post Pandemic Task Force is supported by Gem’s Limo, Strawberry Pub and Pizza, Olivia’s Catering and Dining, Knot Just Bagels, and European School of Dance, which are female- and/or minority-owned businesses, according to the statement.
“Anyone who says that high school students can’t do huge things in life, clearly haven’t met some of the top minds in tech and business,” Zuckerberg said in the statement.
“We are so excited to help female and minority owned businesses survive this difficult economy. We want to help students differentiate themselves and stand out, and at Zuckerberg Institute we believe that nothing could help you stand out more than helping to come up with an idea or business plan to help drive change in your local community,” said Co-Founder of Zuckerberg Institute, Michael Littig, in the statement.
For more information on the program, visit www.zuckerberginstitute.com/taskforce-woodbridge