BTE Student Stories


BTE students in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recently engaged in skill-building workshops and gained valuable career insights with the mentoring and support of dedicated volunteers from Johnson & Johnson.

BTE Philadelphia’s career exploration sessions gave students the opportunity to interact with professionals from various STEM fields and gain valuable industry knowledge. Along with these sessions were a series of professional development workshops focused on resume building, financial planning, interview skills, and personal branding (including a LinkedIn activity) to equip students with essential tools to prepare them for their future careers. Volunteers from Johnson & Johnson played a crucial role in these activities, sharing their experiences and expertise with the students.

Site Coordinator Barbara Cousar praised the program, stating, “We are proud to have witnessed the growth and development of our BTE participants, and we are grateful for the unwavering support and commitment of our Johnson & Johnson volunteers. Their dedication has truly made a positive impact on the program and the students involved.”

Beyond career readiness, students have also been learning about their community and ways they can give back. After exploring the history of urban gardening, students completed a community service project called Seeds of Change in which they created seed bombs to be planted as a fun and creative way to give back to their local communities. Cousar expressed, “We really wanted to show the students that there are different ways to volunteer, and this project has been a perfect example of that.”

By listening to the needs and interests of the students, BTE was able to tailor workshops to provide excellent and beneficial information for students who are interested in exploring trade schools after graduating from high school, including a workshop led by a representative from the Urban Technology Project, a post-secondary, workforce development program for school district graduates. One student shared, “Participating in the BTE program has been a great experience! I’ve learned so much and appreciate how Ms. Barbara listens to us and tries to include our feedback in the workshops. The support and opportunities they provide and truly life-changing.”

Students are not the only ones learning in BTE—volunteers are as well! “Volunteering with BTE Philadelphia students has been an incredible experience!” shares one volunteer, “It’s so rewarding to see the impact we’re making with them during our mentoring sessions. We feel that we have learned from them, as much as they have learned from us. It’s inspiring to be part of something that’s making a difference in the lives of young people.”

Congratulations to BTE Philadelphia on completing three years with Bridge to Employment. We know you have gained the skills and experience you need to do amazing things as you take your next steps in your education and careers.


For more information on BTE Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, visit their site page here!