Photo: BTE Englewood Students, large group at event, lion mascot in front.

On November 19, 2021, the Bridge to Employment program launched its 98th site in Jacksonville, Florida. Johnson & Johnson has partnered with Communities in Schools Jacksonville and Englewood High School to launch and implement the three-year BTE-Englewood program. Local partners present at this event included Dr. Diana L. Greene, Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, and county school board members. Representatives from Florida State College at Jacksonville and the Florida Department of Education were also present.

Principal Marleny Chirino of Englewood High School, Mr. Steve Barreau, Global Deliver Leader Johnson & Johnson Vision and Mr. Leon Baxton, Chief Executive Officer, Communities in Schools all shared the importance of mentorship for students and encouraged students to leverage the opportunity presented to them through the BTE program. “I participated in a similar program in high school promoting further education & highlighting career options, and it had a big impact in my life. I am excited that students will have a similar opportunity and support from mentors through the BTE program” Mr. Steve Barreau stated in his opening remarks to students.

During the event, students connected with Johnson & Johnson mentors. Through conversations, both students and mentors were able to learn about their shared interest and discuss ways that mentors can guide students through college and career exploration, a key component of the BTE program.

A significant part of the event included the opportunity for students to engage in the “Little Bits Activity”, a hands-on STEM2D activity facilitated by a Johnson & Johnson mentor. Students learned about the importance of a prototype and with enthusiasm, they worked in teams to create prototypes for a design project. Their creativity came to life as they presented the final product to their peers, Johnson & Johnson mentors, and local partners.

The BTE-Englewood launch is a start to a three-year journey that will inspire and develop this cohort of up to 50 youth to follow their passion and develop new interests in various STEM2D related fields.

Check the Englewood Site Page for updates!