Skip to Content

Bridge Builders

Team members: (l-r) Paul Grosskopf, Pam Davis, Brenda Byrd, Gary Eichelberger 
Rich Everly, Ken Miller
(Not pictured: Derek McGowan and Kimaka Nichols-Graham)

The Bridge Builders of The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative Class XX, will provide career exposure to students in Furman University’s Bridges to a Brighter Future program, which is a seven-year college access and success program for Greenville County high school and college students. It is designed to not only expose students to college, but to address and eliminate the personal, social, and cultural barriers that often prevent low-income and first-generation students from achieving college graduation. The Bridge Builders will implement a sustainable program that exposes the students to career opportunities by providing a hands-on curriculum in the STEM field, legal services and law enforcement. This project is aligned with the goals of South Carolina and the Greenville County School District in preparing high school students for college and career readiness by instilling them with world class knowledge, world class skills and characteristics to be successful. Through the Bridge Builders’ project, all 77 high school students will attend a Lunch & Learn during a Saturday College in spring 2016. The focus of the Lunch & Learn will be to expose the students to careers in Legal Services and hear from attorneys who were also first-generation college students.  During Bridges 4-week summer program, Bridges Foundations, the rising sophomore class will have engaging, hands-on visits at BMW Manufacturing LLC, Michelin North America and Lockheed Martin. In late summer 2016, the City of Greenville Police Department will be offering a Police Academy for teens, and Bridges students will have an opportunity to attend at no cost. Through all of these enriching opportunities, Bridges students will be exposed to a variety of career opportunities and not only learn about them, but have the chance to be fully engaged and interact with professionals in each career.