Verizon Executive Mentors Students in North Philadelphia

Recently, Tim Smith, Verizon’s regional president for Pennsylvania/Delaware, visited St. Martin de Porres School in North Philadelphia.  Smith is serving as a new class mentor for students at the school, sharing how his experiences shaped his career and giving the students a tangible path to follow.

“I did things most people wouldn’t do,” said Smith to a classroom of sixth-grade students.  “Each time when I was asked to do hard things I hadn’t done before, I had a choice.” 

Smith explained that it was these difficult assignments that led to unexpected opportunities and ultimately to the position he holds today.

 “So who do you want to be?” Smith asked, as the students’ raised their hands eagerly to respond.  “A football player,” said one boy and then another.  “As good as those jobs are, always have a backup plan and that plan is between your ears,” Smith said.  “Make sure you get a good education.  No one can ever take that away.”

Smith will return to the school this winter where the students will present him with essays that explore their dream careers and the hard choices they expect to make along the way. 

 “Accomplish what you need to accomplish now,” Smith advised, quoting one of his mentors.  “You can’t think about eighth grade today.  Build the skill set you need now.  That’s the best preparation for what’s ahead.”

St. Martin de Porres School’s Class Mentor program pairs local business leaders with elementary school students, helping inner city children see the vital role their education plays in setting the stage for future careers.