NYU SPS Career Pathways Bridge Program Student Spotlights

Overview of NYU SPS Career Pathways Bridge Program

The New York University School of Professional Studies Career Pathways Bridge Program (Bridge Program) expands access to accredited, career-connected learning pathways for high school graduates across New York public schools. Bridge students gain new pipelines into fully-scholarshipped degree programs in business, technology and liberal arts; along with work-based learning experiences and early credit opportunities, including two accredited courses, a cohort-style college and career readiness seminar, career exploration workshops, community-building activities, paid internships, advising, and peer mentoring.

The Bridge Program offers free tuition and admittance into NYU SPS’s Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS) Associate Degree Program. Credits earned in the associate program can then be applied to a DAUS Bachelor’s Program if a student wishes to continue their studies.

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NYU SPS Bridge Cohort Profile

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Between the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 academic years, the Bridge Program scaled from five students across two Bronx high schools to 25 students across nine public high schools based in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Yonkers.

For the 2023-2024 academic year, NYU SPS received 47 applications to the Fall 2023 Career Pathways Bridge Program, with matriculation into the Spring 2024 Associate Degree Program. Of those, 25 students were accepted. The majority of this year’s cohort identify as first-generation college students, many of whom are also the first in their families to graduate from high school. Their dedication to excellence is evident, as most students were enrolled in at least one AP course during high school and several earned academic awards in math, history, chemistry, and robotics. The average cumulative high school GPA for this year’s cohort was 3.35.

Bridge students have experience balancing their academic achievements with part-time work and internships at companies like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Weill Cornell; caring for younger siblings; volunteering to clean local parks; and supporting their high schools and local middle schools as assistant coaches, office assistants, and weight trainers. During high school, many held leadership positions in various clubs and organizations, demonstrated their athleticism on sports teams, and served as mentors and tutors to their peers.

The Bridge Program offers a promising model for how higher education institutions can partner with students, employers, high schools, and community-based organizations to value learning from work in the college experience and build affordable onramps into family-sustaining careers.


Belinda Dominguez Mendez

(18, She/Her)

Belinda graduated from South Bronx Community Charter High School in June 2023 and is pursuing her associate degree in business at NYU SPS’s Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS).

“In addition to building my own eyelash technician business, I'm passionate about seeking change for my community and creating a brighter future.”

Belinda Dominguez Mendez

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Yuleysi Mosquea

(18, She/Her)

Yuleysi graduated from South Bronx Community Charter High School in June 2023 and is pursuing her associate degree in liberal arts at NYU SPS DAUS.

“I want to create a stable and successful career. Being a part of NYU SPS and the Bridge Program, I’m able to get a degree, explore outside my comfort zone, and gain new knowledge and experiences.”

Learn more about Yuleysi

Isiah Rosario

(18, He/Him/His)

Isiah graduated from CompSci High School in June 2023 and is pursuing his associate degree in business at NYU’s School of Professional Studies Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS).

“I’m motivated about creating a fresh and vibrant community within the [NYU SPS Career Pathways] Bridge Program. I have the opportunity to establish the foundation and set an example for the upcoming students in the future years.”

Isiah Rosario

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Muhsin Tcheifa

(18, He/Him/His)

Muhsin graduated from Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics in June 2023 and is pursuing his associate degree in Information Systems Management at NYU SPS DAUS.

“The Bridge Program's mission of balancing both real-world experience and academics will benefit me greatly. I can do my apprenticeship at Amazon as well as continue my education at a higher level. Knowing that there is someone I can turn to for guidance and support when I’m making important decisions or facing challenges increases my confidence while navigating my career and academic journey.”

Muhsin Tcheifa

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Kevin Danso

  • 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.
Kevin Danso

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Emily Jimenez

  • 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.
Emily Jimenez

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Joshua Richards

  • 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.
Joshua Richards

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Leylani Rivera

  • 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.  
Leylani Rivera

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James Walrond

  • 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.”
James Walrond

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