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.”