Appalachian State visit with Project Bridge promotes conversation, community service

Participants of Project Bridge recently had a crash course in higher education from fellow learners.

Students at Appalachian State University selected Project Bridge’s central region as one of their Spring 2017 Alternative Service Experience programs. For an entire week, the 10 college students made it their mission to make a difference in the lives of 33 individuals.

According to Transition’s Coordinator for Central Florida Amanda Jacobson, the conversations were well-received by both parties.

“Project Bridge was incredibly fortunate to have been selected for this awesome initiative,” said Jacobson. “From the kickoff barbeque to touring Keiser University and discussing the college application process, everyone had a lot of fun.”

For the Project Bridge team, every day hinged on valuable discussions regarding life skills and future goals – but the learning was a two-way street.

Students from the university had the opportunity to learn about the Department of Juvenile Justice and the challenges at-risk youth face when working towards their goals, including employment and educational engagement.

Appalachian students were also provided training on how Project Bridge focuses on individualizing support in the classroom with GED and tutoring services to vocational services assisting youth in obtaining their first jobs.

Of course, it wasn’t all work.

Project Bridge participants had the opportunity to engage in barbeques, gardening, athletics and community service opportunities in four Central Florida counties alongside Appalachian State students.

“This was a great week,” said Laurie Stern, transition’s director. “I especially want to thank Amanda, who applied to her alma mater for the experience, as well as orchestrated the week.”

To learn more about Appalachian’s Alternative Service Experience with Project Bridge, visit their website.