“I feel more deeply about diversity because now I know that there are people who are different than me and still believe in the same things. Even though people aren’t from the same place in terms of religion or race, they can still come together to make change happen.” - Fellow 2017
The heart of YouthBridge-NY is its two-year Fellowship program, where high school juniors and seniors from diverse backgrounds participate in intensive trainings on leadership and diversity.
The fellowship kicks off in late August with an overnight orientation retreat, where participants get to know each other through team-building games, outdoor activities, and workshops on topics like diversity, social justice, and leadership.
Throughout the first year of the program, first-year teen Fellows participate in skill-building workshops and team-based learning opportunities; second year Bridgers are immersed in experiential learning opportunities and mentoring with successful professionals.
Each YouthBridge-NY fellowship year concludes with an End-of-Year Celebration and Bridger Graduation in June. In addition, throughout the fellowship, Fellows and Bridgers are invited to participate in volunteer opportunities, group outings, and other special events. As YouthBridge-NY alumni will tell you, the varied aspects of the YouthBridge-NY fellowship come together to create lasting friendships and an amazing network of support for years to come.
Applications are only open to 10th graders for participation during their junior and senior years. Rolling admissions: applications are considered in the order in which they are received.
The deadline for applications is Friday, March 30, 2018.
“If I had YouthBridge before high school, my whole experience would have been different… I would have been comfortable within myself and had the skills to socialize with other people. I had a problem before, I wasn’t speaking up as much as I should have. I used to just sit there…I didn’t know how to speak up, but now I do.” - Bridger 2016
F I R S T Y E A R : F E L L O W S
In the first year, 35 Fellows meet as a whole group one evening a month for interactive skill-building workshops and team activities, in which they:
- Learn how to solve real problems together
- Learn how to resolve conflicts in school or among peers
- Promote diversity and eliminate discrimination and stereotyping
- Network and meet with top NYC professionals
- Learn how to create a social justice project from scratch
- Volunteer for community causes , like cleaning up parks and building houses
- Make new friends from diverse backgrounds!
Fellows also select and commit to 1 of 3 social action teams, meeting on a second night each month to work together in smaller groups on a long-term project:
1. Cultural Eye Committee: Learn how to capture and appreciate NYC’s rich diversity through photography, and raise money and awareness by selling their very own photos!
2. Shared Resources for a Shared Future Committee: Learn about grantmaking, fundraising, foundations, and resources, and award up to $2,000 to support NYC nonprofits!
3. Engaging Workplace Diversity Committee: Learn how to successfully secure a job and learn the value of diversity in a workplace through summer internships and corporate site visits!
Click here to see the 2017-2018 Fellowship meeting schedule!
“YouthBridge has matured me, I’ve grown. It used to be that when offensive things were said I would just be annoyed and take it to heart, but I wouldn't do anything about it, I was being a bystander and didn’t act on it. Now if I see something wrong, I take action." - Fellow 2017
S E C O N D Y E A R : B R I D G E R S
In the second year, Fellows become Bridgers and participate in advanced skill-building workshops and hands-on learning.
Bridgers meet monthly to:
- Meet one-on-one with NYC professionals
- Build social media campaigns
- Learn to build partnerships with other people and organizations
- Identify leadership opportunities in college
- Go on field trips to cultural institutions
- Hang out with alumni to learn about their life experiences after high school
“The program far exceeded my expectations. It molded me into an advocate for diversity, tolerance and positive change in my communities. I cherish the experience I had and all the new friends I made!” - YouthBridge-NY Alumnus