Bridge Helps Students Step Up!

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Alum bring college readiness program to Westbury High School

Nassau County Legislator Siela A. Bynoe and local organization Bridge to Promise recently held a Step Up! program at Westbury High School. The program is geared to “ignite and inspire” the possibility of higher education among high school students through a college readiness initiative.

The two-hour interactive program connected approximately 50 students in the school with young adult leaders from the local community to assist in the empowerment of setting goals and obtaining personal and academic success. The program, originally created and introduced in 2015 by Bynoe, allows these relatable mentors to present a true voice to both encourage and inspire students to continue pursue higher education after high school.

The program provides relevant information regarding the college process and is geared towards sophomores and juniors in preparation for post high school education. The program advises Step Up! students seeking specific career paths on appropriate steps to take while in high school to achieve their goals. In 2017, the Step Up! program was brought to Bynoe’s alma mater Westbury High School, as well as Hempstead and Malverne High Schools.

“By using relatable mentors who are more like peers who have already embarked on a successful path toward their own future, the connection is far more palatable and their story more powerful,” said Bynoe. “This new partnership with Bridge to Promise continues the work started in 2015, but their efforts to re-engineer the program provided the participants with an inspirational experience.”

Bridge to Promise is a growing Long Island nonprofit organization that reaches local youth and young adults to fulfill their potential by empowering them through coaching and other resources to become a confident and productive individual.

“I was glad that myself and Jessica [Toussaint, founder and CEO of Bridge to Promise], two graduates of Westbury High School, who once sat in the very same place as these young people are sitting now, contemplating our own future and wondering how to achieve our hopes and dreams one day, were able to partner together to bring a relatable mentor program to our high school,” said Bynoe. “It is inspiring to me to be part of these amazing teens’ path toward greatness.”

—Submitted by the office of Siela Bynoe

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