The application window to apply is December 8 - May 1, 2023. Application Deadline: May 1, 2023. Any applications received before April 1, 2023 will be notified by April 15, 2023.
Fall 2023 Application
Career Pathways Bridge Program Acceptance Criteria
- US citizen or legal residence, and eligible to work in the USA
- TAP and Pell eligible
- High School GPA of 2.8 or higher and one letter of recommendation
- Able to commute to NYU from home
About the Career Pathways Bridge Program
The NYU SPS Career Pathways Bridge Program increases access and pathways into NYU SPS degree programs and family-sustaining careers by combining academics with paid work experiences. Career Pathways Bridge Fellows earn two-year scholarships for their Fall Bridge semester and matriculation into the associate degree program offered by the School’s Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS), which begins the following Spring.
During the Fall semester, Bridge Fellows engage in a number of courses and activities to help "bridge" the gap between high school and college. Fellows intern in off-campus or on-campus positions, working at least 10 hours/week and paid at least $15/hour; take credit-based, introductory Math and Writing courses; and this year’s cohort of Bridge Fellows are engaged in a Ready to Launch learning design and project management course to gain project design and management skills essential for many 21st century careers, while providing essential feedback on their own experiences to inform future SPS Career Pathways Bridge programming. Fellows are also supported academically and socially-emotionally through peer mentoring with an NYU Dean’s Scholar and advising from a DAUS advisor.
The first cohort of Career Pathways Bridge Fellows launched in August 2022, with five students—Kevin Danso, Emily Jimenez, Joshua Richards, Leylani Rivera, and James Walrond—all from high schools across the Bronx that focus on braiding work-based learning experiences into academic pathways. Learn more about the fellows through their video profiles.
- Kevin graduated from Bronx Leadership Academy High School in June 2022.
- His hobbies include hanging out with friends and playing soccer and basketball.
- Kevin sees the Career Pathways Bridge Program and matriculation into the DAUS Applied Associates degree program as a launching pad into a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry.
- “If the program is created by young people like me, it will help others… We can influence more people to think about going to college. This is a great opportunity for those who are not financially stable so they can continue learning while earning,” Kevin explained, when asked about the importance of the program.
Learn more about Kevin
Kevin Danso, who attended Bronx Leadership Academy on Grand Concourse, is one five students from the Bronx selected to participate in the new NYU School of Professional Studies Career Pathways Bridge Program starting this fall. The program, which is supported by Amazon and the Schultz Family Foundation, aims to create paths to career success for BIPOC students from NYC public high schools through academics and paid work experiences.
Kevin, who hopes for a career in the health care sector, jumped at the chance to attend NYU through the Career Pathways Bridge Program. “It gives me great joy because not everybody can say that they went to NYU,” he declared. “I did my research on what the program offered and I hope it will help me achieve my goal of becoming a physician assistant. I am really grateful for this opportunity.”
For Kevin, his high school experience was a mixed bag in terms of preparing him for college because of the disruptions caused by COVID. “In school, you are more motivated because you see your friends working hard, but when you are at home and learning remotely, you get lazy and say I can do it tomorrow,” he recalled. However, his school life improved once he was able to resume his activities such as socializing with friends and participating in extracurricular like soccer and basketball.
Kevin’s Journey to Become a Career Pathways Bridge Fellow
As part of the Career Pathways Bridge Program, Kevin and his fellow students will participate in an internship that will include designing the program alongside the NYU SPS academic and research team building it, as well as supporting recruitment and mentorship of future cohorts. “If the program is created by young people like me, it will help others to join the program,” he said. “We can influence more people to think about going to college. This is a great opportunity for those who are not financially stable so they can continue learning while earning.”
Kevin has some trepidation about starting the program. “I feel so overwhelmed because I can still imagine myself in preschool, high school, and all of a sudden, I am in college, it’s so scary. But I am ready to take on any challenge,” he said. “When I was getting ready to graduate from 8th grade to go to high school, it was the same feeling. Once I start the classes, it will feel normal,” he added.
- Emily graduated from South Bronx Community Charter High School in 2022.
- Her hobbies include listening to music – her favorite artist is Bad Bunny - and hanging out with friends.
- She hopes to pursue her career goal of becoming a nurse.
- “NYU is my dream school…I am excited for the new opportunities I am getting, about meeting new people and learning new things. Many students from the Bronx like me don’t have opportunity to go to an amazing college like this,” she said.Kevin explained, when asked about the importance of the program.
Learn more about Emily
For Emily Jimenez of the Bronx, being selected for the Career Pathways Bridge Program, an NYU School of Professional Studies initiative that seeks to expand access and opportunities for students of color from NYC public high schools, is the chance of a lifetime.
A graduate of South Bronx Community Charter High School, she is one of five students who will participate in a series of classes and activities at NYU SPS this fall that combine academic components with internships and paid work experiences, thanks to a grant from Amazon and the Schultz Family Foundation.
Emily’s Journey to Become a Career Pathways Bridge Fellow
Emily applied for the opportunity when she learned about it because “NYU is my dream school,” she stated. “I am excited for the new opportunities I am getting, about meeting new people and learning new things. Many students from the Bronx like me don’t have opportunity to go to an amazing college like this.”
The combination of full, two-year scholarships and guaranteed paid internships in addition to enrollment in the associate degree program offered by the School’s Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS), particularly attracted her attention. “Working and going to school will help me get real-world experience,” she said. “I will learn time management skills. I will gain more communication and collaborative skills. That would be especially helpful to me in pursuing my career goal of becoming a nurse.”
A typical student while in high school who enjoyed listening to music – her favorite artist is Bad Bunny - and hanging out with friends, Emily added that although she is looking forward to attending NYU, “I am honestly scared, it is something new for me. I am most nervous about the college environment and college life. I hope I adjust to it.”
- Joshua graduated from South Bronx Community Charter High School, where he enjoyed
a sense of community and belonging.
- Outside of school, Joshua’s hobbies include skating and modeling.
- He is interested in a career in the liberal arts, especially psychology and sociology.
- As part of the Bridge Program, “I can be a part of this founding crew and help people
like me and people of color get into institutions like this,” he said.
Learn more about Joshua
For Joshua Richards, the sense of community engendered at South Bronx Community Charter High School was what he most enjoyed about his high school experience. “We always treated our campus as the entire community. And we volunteered. We donated. We helped the homeless get hygiene products. That was fun,” said Joshua, who graduated Summer 2022.
Joshua is one of five students from the Bronx selected to participate in the new NYU School of Professional Studies Career Pathways Bridge Program, whose goal is to create avenues to college and career success for more students of color from across NYC public high schools through academics, internships, and paid work experiences.
While in high school, Joshua gained real-life skills that he appreciated. “We had an event pre- COVID where the school brought professionals in, we dressed up, they had us make our résumés,” he recalled. But when COVID hit, and everything went virtual, “It was hard for me. In-person and virtual learning are two different things. And I had to adjust to waking up on my computer, looking at somebody on the screen, and trying to stay focused that entire year. That was the only thing I disliked about school.”
Outside of school, Joshua enjoys modeling and skating. “My friends and I skate for hours on end around the streets of New York. We’ll end up in the most secluded places in New York I’ve never been to before. It’s cool to see a bunch of new things in person.”
What Joshua Hopes to Get Out of the Career Pathways Bridge Program
As part of the Bridge Program at NYU SPS, Joshua is excited about “being part of something new and building something for generations to come.” He added, “I can be a part of this founding crew and help people like me and people of color get into institutions like this.” Interested in the liberal arts – “psychology and sociology, the brain, and how people act and why they do things” – he hopes to get a head start through the internship and work opportunities offered through the program.
“What I hope to gain from this experience is a sense of community at NYU, looking back from when I'm finished with the program, and saying, ‘I've helped this.’ And maybe in the future, after I've graduated, NYU can be an asset to me in pursuing my career.”
- Leylani graduated from Health, Education, and Research Occupations High School (H.E.R.O.) High School in the Bronx.
- The owner of a small nail business, which she runs from her home, Leylani created a website for her clients to book her services. An early entrepreneur, Leylani is interested in pursuing a career in the business world.
- “What excites me is that I'm the first of a few students who are going to start an entirely new program. We're the ones to basically test the waters. So, I'm excited to be the first – I feel like I'm accomplishing a lot,” Leylani said about the Career Pathways Bridge Program.
Learn more about Leylani
A graduate of Health, Education, and Research Occupations High School in the Bronx, Leylani Rivera found that although the pandemic spoiled her school experience, she enjoyed being a part of a community, socializing and interacting with people from different backgrounds. She said that her teachers “kept class inspiring. They always tried their best to reach out and see where everyone was at. High school taught me how to work under pressure and through stressful situations.”
Outside of school life, Leylani is interested in pursuing a business career. She runs a small nail business from her home, for which she created a website to handle bookings by her clients. “I enjoy doing nails where I'm able to express my artistry,” she said.
This fall, Leylani is one of five students who will participate in the new Career Pathways Bridge Program, a series of classes and activities at NYU SPS that combines academic components with internships and paid work experiences, thanks to generous support from Amazon and the Schultz Family Foundation.
What Leylani Hopes to Get Out of the Career Bridge Program
Although she is nervous about college and wondering whether she will like it, Leylani is excited to be part of the Career Pathways Bridge Program. “It’s an opportunity of a lifetime. I’ll be the first of a few students to help build an entirely new program,” she said, adding, “We’re the ones who are going to basically test the waters and just make up everything as we go, I guess you can say? So, I'm excited to be the first–– I feel like I'm accomplishing a lot.”
She is also happy that the Bridge Program will provide opportunities for working while she is attending NYU SPS. “Working while going to school is so helpful because you learn to balance learning and real-life job experiences,” she said. “If I plan on running a business, I have to be able to organize many things at once. The assets I learn in college will help me work towards my career goals.”
She continued, “Working and learning is a way for me to kill two birds with one stone. I can save up for things like moving out, getting a car, and extra necessities, all with the comfort of gaining knowledge and a little bit of extra cash. It’s perfect. I know the Bridge Program will help guide me on the exact path I want to be on.”
- James graduated from South Bronx Community Charter High School in 2022.
- He enjoys watching baseball, basketball, football, mixed martial arts, and UFC.
- Through the Bridge Program, he hopes to learn how to navigate business applications like
Microsoft or Google Suite.
- James is excited to help design the Bridge Program and “create a way for other students
who are going to go down the same path…because only students know what students
really want and need.”
Learn more about James
James Walrond, a graduate of South Bronx Community Charter High School, is among the five students participating in the Career Pathways Bridge Program, a new initiative of the NYU School of Professional Studies that began this fall. With generous support from Amazon and the Schultz Family Foundation, the program aims to expand access to undergraduate degrees for NYC public high school students and provide internship and work opportunities.
“This is definitely an honor, and I’m always about bettering myself and continuing to add on new experiences,” said James. “What excites me most is that I can help pave the way for others, especially students from the Bronx who don’t get many opportunities.”
High school for James has been a character-building experience, where “the staff and the students were extremely close, and everyone pushed each other to move forward. It made me want to try harder because our teachers believed in us so much. High school has allowed me to tackle anything that is put in front of me.”
When James isn’t busy with school, he enjoys watching baseball, basketball, football, mixed martial arts, and UFC. As for his participation in the Career Bridge program this Fall, James is confident that “once I'm already in there, then I can get in the zone.” He’s excited to design the program and build it for future cohorts with the NYU SPS team. “Us creating a way for other students that are going to go down the same path is just great because only students know what students really want and need.”
What James Hopes to Get Out of the Career Pathways Bridge Program
James is thankful that he will be able to work while attending NYU SPS. “It helps towards my career goals as it allows for an income to be coming in and sustaining my life, and even sets me up for future investments like a car, house ownership,” he said. He is also looking forward to learning how to navigate applications like Microsoft or Google Suite, skills that are very necessary in the business world.
“I hope to gain a lot of knowledge that would help me in the work field, become a better professional, and be better at time management. I’m definitely thinking about how this is all going to play a part in the bigger picture when I’m done,” he said.
About Our Sponsors
Thanks to generous support from The James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation, Amazon, and The Schultz Family Foundation, students participate in a paid internship and help design and provide feedback on the Career Pathways Bridge Program alongside the NYU SPS staff. Career Pathways seeks to grow to 20 or more students in the second year, with a goal of building degree pathways that are aligned with labor market trends and student interests.
How You Can Get Involved
Funders - NYU SPS is dedicated to expanding postsecondary pathways for more students of color and underserved students across NYC, providing them with meaningful academic and career readiness experiences. Please email Ally Margolis, Director of Career Pathways Innovation and Public Policy, if you’d like to support our efforts.
Employers - NYU SPS values our city’s employers who help provide more students with meaningful paid and/or credited career-connected learning opportunities, such as internships, capstone projects, job shadowing, and mentoring. Email Ally Margolis if you’re interested in becoming an employer partner.
Education Institutions & Community Organizations - NYU SPS engages with high school networks and community-based organizations to expand programming opportunities for more NYC students. Email Ally Margolis if your students are interested in becoming an NYU SPS Career Pathways Bridge Fellow..