In order to increase the number of Los Angeles youth in at-risk circumstances who achieve employment in the health care field, Mount St. Mary's College (MSMC), through Johnson & Johnson's Bridge to Employment (BTE) partnership, helped students gain the skills, education, and information necessary for success. The BTE initiative at MSMC augmented existing outreach efforts into inner-city high schools. The student ambassadors program sent trained MSMC students into 37 high schools, mainly located in the inner city of Los Angeles, to assist high school counselors in motivating and preparing high school students for college, and complete admissions and financial aid applications.
Through the BTE program, ambassadors received additional training to speak knowledgeably about employment options in the allied health care field and the required educational preparation necessary for each career path. Ambassadors also identified approximately 25-30 sophomores from two partner high schools to participate in the annual Strides Toward Educational Proficiency (STEP) summer workshops. These students developed career goals related to personal interests and were given individual career counseling, access to computerized software in the Career Planning Center, and visits to health facilities—helping students understand various health professions. This particular BTE site also developed a unique mentoring element which paired BTE students with Johnson & Johnson retirees. Much of the mentoring occurred through e-mail, which minimized scheduling conflicts and encouraged the use of technology. BTE students also had the unique opportunity to participate in job shadowing and career days at Neutrogena, where they learned about the education and work experiences of Neutrogena employees.