The BRIDGE Program at IHS

As the third quarter makes its way to an end, the seniors have an opportunity to start a program called BRIDGE during the last quarter of their high school career. Now, what is The BRIDGE Program? The BRIDGE program is a six-week program at the end of senior year. Students who do BRIDGE spend 30 hours a week at a work site to gain experience and valuable hands-on career insight. During their time at an approved work site, students must submit weekly journal entries and time sheets as well as all the necessary tasks for their second-semester classes needed for graduation. To us, the BRIDGE program is like a reward. Seniors must have a minimum of a 70% average in every class during the last three quarters, have a clean record during their senior year, meet all attendance requirements (tardies and absences), and meet all graduation requirements. Only some students who apply qualify. 

We decided to interview a senior, Elia Capobianco, to get her intake on the requirements for BRIDGE. Elia told us that the requirements for BRIDGE pushed her a little harder senior year. “I felt like I always had the idea of BRIDGE in the back of my mind,” she said. “I felt like if I didn’t try my hardest with academics and attendance; I wouldn’t get the opportunity to participate.” The requirements are set to ensure the students don’t slack off, but as a reminder, this program is a privilege and can be revoked at any time, even if all requirements are met. 

We also decided to interview Mr. Mitchell to see if we could get more information about the program. Mr. Mitchell said the BRIDGE program differs from where he wants it to be. He believes that although this sets you up for real-world experiences if you put maximum effort in, he wishes that students would not choose to continue with their current job and instead go into a field they are interested in. He added that his favorite part of the program was the showcase at the end of the year. He likes to see what students have been doing. “I love to see students do internships and become very interested in the field their internship was in,” he told us. 

Lastly, for the last bit of insight about the program. We wanted to talk to one of our guidance counselors, Mrs. May. Mrs. May believes the program is successful; she likes how students experience different careers. When we asked her, “why shouldn’t all seniors be allowed to participate in BRIDGE?” she responded, “we need to make sure it stays a privilege and everyone is completing graduation requirements.” 

In conclusion, The BRIDGE Program is available to students who met the requirements during their senior year. You need to meet the criteria to be able to spend the last quarter of high school off campus. This program is a reward. Therefore the guidelines should motivate students when they get presented with the idea of BRIDGE at the beginning of the school year. Most importantly, this privilege could be taken away anytime if, for some reason, you were not completing your second-semester classes to your ability or your weekly reports at your job sight.