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 PHILADELPHIA, March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Tomorrow, Latanya Jones, a 10th-grader at Benjamin Franklin High School here, will become a shareholder of one of the largest corporations in the United States.
 She, along with nine other students, will participate in a new program called "Take Stock in Education," designed to help kids learn about business, and encourage them to stay in school and enter a postsecondary school of their choice.
 The program is the brainchild of Dr. Herman Ellis, Rohm and Haas Company's associate medical director, and Bertram L. Scott, a vice president with Prudential's PruCare of Philadelphia.
 Ellis, 44, has been involved with Benjamin Franklin since 1989, conducting mentoring programs and a special lecture series designed to teach kids about relevant social issues, such as teen pregnancy and AIDS.
 As a corporate employee himself, Ellis wanted to teach his students the advantages of pursuing a business career, and at the same time, provide an incentive for them to academically excel, graduate from high school and advance to a college or vocational school.
 " Take Stock In Education' is an innovative way to expose minority students to the world of business," said Ellis. "By making them official shareholders, they will have the same advantages that all stockholders have, and in addition, will become part of a three-year experiment that will hopefully teach them responsibility and commitment."
 The programs works like this. Every year, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students are selected from the school's "Prime" program. Prime is a program to create opportunities for minority students in math and science-related courses. They each will become entitled to one share of Rohm and Haas stock, which PruCare of Philadelphia has purchased in the form of a "stock certificate." In order for students to redeem the stock, they must attend special board meetings, shareholder meetings, and lectures designed to help them learn how business works, as well as maintain A's and B's, graduate from high school and gain admission to a postsecondary school. They also must attend lectures given by Rohm and Haas professionals and participate in the company's mentor program.
 Dr. Constance E. Clayton, superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, said she believes "Take Stock in Education" will provide a model for other school districts to follow.
 "The program is a wonderful opportunity for these young women and men to learn more about the world of investment and finance, as well as to have an enhanced personal stake -- as Rohm and Haas stockholders -- in the economic growth and stability of our country," Clayton said. "We are most appreciative to Rohm and Haas for this new and additional commitment to the students at Benjamin Franklin High School."
 The 10 students, along with their mentors, will officially receive their rights to stock certificates at the New York Stock Exchange, where they will be given a tour and briefing by financial experts.
 "This is a very exciting program for us," said Dr. Norman Spencer, principal of Benjamin Franklin High School.
 "We've seen over the years how our students have benefited from their association with their corporate mentors. This new effort will give them even greater accessibility to the highest levels of business, and will no doubt positively impact them in the future."
 When the students return to Philadelphia, they will begin their journey into the world of business, and reap the dividends of their new- found fiduciary responsibility. And who knows -- someday Latanya Jones might be evaluating the performance of her own company from the corner office of her corporation's world headquarters.
 Rohm and Haas Company is a manufacturer of specialty chemicals used around the world to make everyday products such as house paints, food packaging, automobile taillights, window frames, diapers, motor oils, refined sugar, construction materials, magazines, leather shoes and garments, agricultural products and laboratory testing equipment. The company reported sales of $3 billion in 1992. It currently holds the 165th position on the Fortune 500 ranking.
 PruCare of Philadelphia has a network of 3,000 participating physicians, 36 hospitals and 75,000 members participating in the company's managed care plans. Prudential, the nation's largest insurer, provides health benefits to more than 20 million Americans. PruCare of Philadelphia is part of The Prudential Health Care System, the company's nationwide health care program.
 -0- 3/1/93
 /CONTACT: Dava Guerin or Wendy Kapnek of Guerin & Kapnek Communications, 215-784-9060, or, evenings, 215-635-5985, for Rohm and Haas/

CO: Rohm and Haas; Prudential ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MK-CC -- PH011 -- 1437 03/01/93 13:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 1, 1993

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