OCC Alumni Nicholas Paro, Jonathan Clark and Sam Roberts II share a common goal. They want to give today’s kids opportunities which will improve their lives. That’s why they’ve formed a company which will help at-risk teens see first-hand the benefits of having a career. “We believe what we are doing will benefit the kids directly and the community as a whole,” said Clark.
Paro, Clark and Roberts recently formed Together Now, Inc. It will focus on offering paid internships and personal accountability management training for students in the Syracuse City School District (SCSD) between the ages of 16 and 18.
The three alumni bring a diverse skill set to the organization. Paro (Liverpool HS) is a 2014 graduate who works as a Legislative Aide for the Onondaga County Legislature. He met 2015 graduate Jonathon Clark (Merrimack Valley High School in Boscawen, New Hampshire) at OCC when both were members of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. Clark is a Marketing major at Le Moyne College. Roberts (Nottingham HS) attended OCC from 2007 to 2009 runs his own business and also serves as a member of Military Police for the Army National Guard. Roberts is the son of OCC Alumni Face Honoree and current NYS Welfare Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts who previously served as a State Assemblyman. “Working with my father allowed me to understand the importance of your neighbors and how you can create a genuine family atmosphere by listening to them,” said Roberts II.
Roberts will serve as Together Now’s Outreach Director, Paro as President and Executive Director and Clark as Development Director. While attending OCC Clark worked in the manufacturing industry in Syracuse. He formed a strong business network which will pay dividends with Together Now. When the three men began discussing their shared vision, committing to the project was easy. “We all understand the need,” said Paro. “The strengths each of us bring will allow the company to be successful.”
Students in the SCSD will apply to be part of the Together Now program. Those who do well during the interview process will be selected for a six-week paid internship funded by Together Now. As students gain the experience of being in the workplace they will also take part in a professional development series with Together Now. They’ll learn about accountability, personal finance and soft skills such as decision making and self-motivation.
Getting the program started is top priority for Paro, Clark and Roberts. They’re meeting with companies, discussing internship placements and raising money. Interested businesses are encouraged to contact them through their company website.