BTE Student Stories

Jasmine Okolo

Jasmine was entering her sophomore year at North Plainfield High School when she joined the Bridge to Employment (BTE) North Plainfield program. Prior to BTE, she excelled in school and knew she wanted to study medicine after graduation. Jasmine may have had a better idea of her future than most students, but she strived to be more focused. She says “I shuffled around between what specific profession to dedicate myself to…” BTE provided the perfect opportunity to map Jasmine’s future.

Through BTE, Jasmine has been able to participate in activities that explore health and medical careers, as well as understand the academic standards and processes to enter in those careers. For example, BTE-North Plainfield offers tutoring, has provided academic planning sessions, and organized financial aid and scholarship information sessions for college. Johnson & Johnson volunteers meet with groups of students monthly based on their career interests. Together, these program activities help students understand their career aspirations and develop a roadmap to those goals.

After a couple years in the program, Jasmine says her goals for higher education and a successful career have expanded. She says “BTE has made me realize that there is more to simply just ‘graduating’ high school because it means nothing if you cannot apply what you have learned with that four year time span into a career of interest.”

Jasmine is now preparing for college and hopes to attend university in Boston. Thanks to BTE and her own hard work Jasmine knows the way to select the right college for her career aspirations and has the tools to succeed.