Yesterday, we celebrated the third – and biggest! – year of YouthBuild’s innovative summer bridge partnership with the Community College of Philadelphia. Like the Thaddeus Stevens Bridge Program, the CCP Summer Bridge offers YouthBuild students the opportunity to experience college life and academics, and even earn college credits, before they’ve earned their diploma. This year, 45 students participated in a variety of course offerings: English 098/099, Survey of Justice, Introduction to Computers, and Music Technology.
“This is only the beginning,” said Angela Velasquez, the YouthBuild Postsecondary coordinator who oversaw the CCP summer bridge. Many bridge students have plans to enroll full or part-time at CCP in the fall, through completion of a postsecondary degree.
“I thought it would be hard because it was college,” said student Precise Harris, “but it was easy because YouthBuild has prepared us.”
“Last year we were dropouts, now we’re certified and college-ready,” added student Dominique Brown.
Angela Velasquez and Latrice Jones, YouthBuild staff who ran the summer bridge this summer, presented to students a Powerpoint with pictures from the summer, video congratulations from YouthBuild staff, and quotes celebrating the effort and excellence demonstrated by our bridge students. Abbey Wexler, Coordinator of School/College Partnerships at CCP (and recipient of last year’s Meaningful Impact Award at YouthBuild’s graduation), attended the celebration as well.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and lived them well.”