August 4, 2022

NYU School of Professional Studies to Launch New Bridge Program That Expands Access for NYC Public High School Students from Underserved Communities to Earn College Degrees

A Generous Gift from Amazon and The Schultz Family Foundation Helps to Fund the Initiative That Will Offer an Affordable Educational Option to Those Who Need to Work While Gaining an Undergraduate Education

New York, NY - The NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) is launching a new Career Pathways Bridge Program that seeks to expand access and opportunities to NYU SPS undergraduate degrees for BIPOC students from NYC public high schools by creating an affordable model that connects academic programming to careers.

Students chosen for the Program will participate in a series of classes and activities that combine academic components with paid work experiences to support them in succeeding in college and family-sustaining careers. This includes full, two-year scholarships and guaranteed paid internships; introductory courses beginning in Fall 2022 to help them prepare for Spring 2023 enrollment in the associate degree program offered by the School’s Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS); and being part of a cohort that provides academic and social support.

The Career Pathways Bridge Program will launch this fall with five students and will be supported by Amazon and The Schultz Family Foundation. As part of the Program, 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. The Program 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.

NYU SPS Dean Angie Kamath commented, “Too often private institutions of higher learning are seen as inaccessible or ‘not for me’ by many students, particularly those in NYC public high schools. The Career Pathways Bridge Program serves to change that perception by modeling how institutions such as NYU SPS can effectively weave academic learning and paid work into the undergraduate degree experience and help students launch successful careers. We are very excited about this initiative, and are deeply grateful for Amazon’s support in carrying out this important work.”

The five students selected for this pilot program are: Kevin Danso, Emily Jimenez, Joshua Richards, Leylani Rivera, and James Walrond—all from high schools in the Bronx that focus on braiding work-based learning experiences into academic pathways. NYU SPS interviewed each of them to learn more about their high school experiences and why they're excited to engage in the Program this fall. See what they have to say: Kevin Danso, Emily Jimenez, Joshua Richards, Leylani Rivera, James Walrond.  

“We are thrilled to provide assistance for this critical initiative in its infancy,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s head of Community Affairs in New York. “At Amazon, we believe in creating paths to career success through education and learning new skills. The new NYU SPS Career Pathways Bridge Program offers the chance to make a difference and have a lasting and positive impact on the leaders of the future by preparing them with a world-class NYU education.”

In response to the launch of the Program, education and government officials from across New York City and New York State voiced their support and expressed the need for initiatives like the Career Pathways Bridge Program.

“All of our students should have access to careers that will support a family and build generational wealth, particularly those in communities that have historically been denied important professional opportunities," said NYC Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. "I am proud to extend a warm thank you to the NYU School of Professional Studies for launching their Career Pathways Bridge Program and look forward to the outstanding opportunities it will provide for our young people."

"Every child deserves the opportunity to earn a quality education and attend college. That is why I am pleased to hear about the NYU School of Professional Studies’ launch of the new Career Pathways Bridge Program. The Bronx is home to so much talent, and I'm grateful to NYU SPS for cultivating it," said Representative Ritchie Torres.

"Seeking higher education often presents a challenge for young minds trying to balance a financially stable life for themselves and their families. I want to congratulate the NYU School of Professional Studies for the launch of the new Career Pathways Bridge Program. This Program aims to break the divide and bridge the gap between higher education and the hardship high school students face in underserved communities. I am honored to have this Program available for students in my district as they cross the threshold of education and responsibility," said State Senator Luis Sepúlveda.

“Creating accessible solutions and opportunities such as this one for New York City public high school students is a move to address decades-old educational gaps.  We know the talent and potential of our students and we are happy to see NYU’s School of Professional Studies creating a pathway to higher education for them through the New Bridge Program," said NYS Assembly Member Amanda Septimo.

“In District 8, a tragic story repeats every year for thousands of recent high school graduates as many low-income students come to realize that the typical pecuniary barriers of higher education pose too much of an obstacle to join their peers in attaining an undergraduate degree.  Curriculums like NYU’s Career Pathways Bridge Program save students from having to make the gut-wrenching decision between education and financial stability. We can only hope that more institutions follow the example of this Program,” said Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala.

“Education should never be seen as inaccessible and with this new initiative, more of our youth will be able to attend a private institution while getting hands-on experience,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “I want to thank the NYU School of Professional Studies and Amazon for their work in helping to deconstruct structural barriers to education and grateful that the five students selected for this pilot program are from the Bronx. When we invest in our youth, we are also investing in their communities and in our borough.”

"Every New Yorker and our economy overall benefits from ensuring that students attending NYC DOE schools launch into a family-sustaining career by age 25. Getting there, however, requires that our education system and institutions braid work-based learning opportunities such as internships and apprenticeships into academic pathways," said Abby Jo Sigal, Executive Director, The Mayor's Office of Talent and Workforce Development. "Fortunately, this is exactly what NYU School of Professional Studies’ new Career Pathways Bridge Program is doing.”

About the NYU School of Professional Studies
For more than 87 years, the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) has been a deeply respected institution of higher education that is grounded in applied learning. From its early years, training returning World War II veterans to fulfill the nation’s urgent need for skilled technical workers, it has evolved into a professional education powerhouse that offers 22 graduate degrees, 14 bachelor’s degrees for traditional and degree completion students, four associate degrees, and a plethora of continuing education courses and credentials.

NYU SPS is a thought leader, and serves as an incubator for new ideas in industries that are constantly changing, including real estate, real estate development, and construction management; hospitality, tourism, travel, and event management; financial planning; global affairs and global security, conflict, and cybercrime; global sport and sports business; publishing; executive marketing and strategic communications, integrated marketing; public relations; project management; executive coaching and organizational consulting, human resource management and development, and human capital analytics and technology; management and systems; translation; and professional writing. It is focused on building skills that open doors to opportunities in emerging fields and global markets. NYU SPS faculty members are leading experts in their areas of discipline, with a hands-on approach that encourages students to push beyond their limits and to break new ground.

Home to some of the largest and most prestigious industry conferences in the world, including the Schack Institute of Real Estate’s Capital Markets Conference, REIT Symposium, and National Symposium of Women in Real Estate; and the Jonathan M. Tisch Center’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, the School’s invaluable connections to industry leaders is a truly distinguishing factor in the education that it provides. Through career development services and resources provided by the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYU SPS, guest lecturers, site visits, participation in numerous conferences and events, and Global Field Intensives, students benefit from an NYU education that will set them apart. In addition, they have the opportunity to learn from and network with more than 39,000 NYU SPS alumni who live, work, and contribute to innovation in industry around the world. To learn more about NYU SPS visit:

PR Office Contacts

Michael DeMeo