Bridge To The Future

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

May 4, 2005

Some Charlottesville High School students are part of a brand new program this year aimed at pushing them towards higher education. The Bridge Partnership matches select high schools and community colleges to prepare tenth grade students for entry into a two or four year college. Career Coach Don Landis works with students from CHS, pushing them towards goals that might have once been out of reach.

"It's about providing them with options. It's about, 'hey I never thought about this career,' or 'I didn't know that I had the ability to go to college.' If I hear my students talk about this, then I feel like the program has been a success," Landis said.

The program has been designed for a student that is often forgotten, the student that needs an extra little push to rise out of mediocrity. The goal of the program is to prepare these students for college through career counseling and speakers.

"A high school diploma really isn't good enough anymore once they hit the work world. Employers are looking for more skill based things from our students once they leave the high school setting," Landis said.

The pilot program is being tested in high schools statewide including right here at CHS. So far, all of the feedback we have gotten has been positive.

"Just basically do something with our lives and not just waste our lives. Mainly to go to college and be somebody," said sophomore Fiona Jackson.

"I have dreams to achieve more than my parents did. Also to help myself feel good about myself," said sophomore Rashawnda James.

Today's career speaker, Leslie Harris Cook, volunteered her time to hopefully help better the group of students. "I feel like it is a way to give back to kids to get to them to understand to do the best that they can do and be the best that they can be to reach their full potential," she said.

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