- Stop by Home Depot for some blue paint
- Develop metrics for a business plan proposal
- Come to work in scrubs
- Make the enrollment steps to the local community college easily digestible for students
- Assemble IKEA furniture for the office
- Update the team’s meeting agenda
It may look odd, but that’s how my to-do list reads on any given week this summer. I could’ve opted to write the responsibilities that were listed in my job description, but the truth is that wouldn’t come close to encompassing this out of the ordinary internship experience. The wide range of my day-to-day activities is the result of interning for a nonprofit startup in education, BridgeYear. Bridge Year is the brainchild of two former college counselors, Victoria Chen and Victoria Doan, who I’m delighted to call my mentors, and was founded in the summer of 2016 in Houston, Texas.
BridgeYear started off as a community college transition program for first generation students from low-income communities. The goal was to battle the phenomenon known as summer melt, which “melts” away recent high school graduates’ plans to enroll in college the fall immediately after graduation. To decrease the rates of the phenomenon, BridgeYear provided support to students through near peer advisors -college interns like myself– that helped students matriculate into community college. While enrollment rates were doubled, as the summer progressed, BridgeYear realized there were things beyond summer melt affecting students’ futures. After recognizing that students in low-income communities also lack access to workforce opportunities, the program now immerses students in career simulations that expose them to high-growth careers and propels them toward economic mobility.
This is actually my second summer with BridgeYear, as I was part of the inaugural team back when this was only an idea. It was a life altering experience to establish a nonprofit from the ground up; an opportunity I wanted so desperately to repeat because I felt my work wasn’t done.
And so here I am. A few seasons have passed and my passion, purpose, and philosophies on education have only grown. I knew that round 2 of Continue reading “Welcome to BridgeYear”