THE On-ramp to economic mobility
BA, '11 Rice
PhD, '19 University of Houston
BA, '11 Brown
TFA '11, Houston Corps
MBA '17, Yale SOM
The journey to BridgeYear started at Sharpstown High School. As a Biology teacher, Victoria Chen gave students hands-on learning experiences by conducting as many labs as she could. As the college and career counselor, Victoria Doan highlighted different career trajectories by bringing in guest speakers and taking students on multiple site visits. Despite those efforts, they noticed that students still struggled to answer one key question: What do YOU want to be after high school?
Chen and Doan soon realized that students - particularly those who did not wish to attend a four-year college - need a different type of counseling experience to identify their path after high school. Traditional methods of career exploration often fail to engage students and many post-high school pathways are often omitted.
Following these observations, Chen and Doan created BridgeYear as the missing link connecting Houston students to viable and accessible career opportunities.
Since its inception in June 2016, BridgeYear has been recognized for its innovation and impact. BridgeYear has been selected for the 4.0 Schools Tiny Fellowship, the Thorne Prize for Social Innovation at Yale University, and the Points of Light Civic Accelerator.