BTE Singapore


BTE is transforming the educational landscape and stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, adaptability, and a steadfast focus on student needs. Through interviews with site coordinators, we uncover the key principles that drive the program’s success.

At the core of the BTE program lies a spirit of collaboration. Team members from various backgrounds come together to co-lead, facilitate, and support the initiative. As Alondra Garcia Bedolla, a site coordinator in Orange County, notes, “As a collective group, we collaborated to make sure that our students were connecting with the program itself, with us as staff, with their peers, and with the coaches. So, for us it was very heavily based on how we made sure to create a BTE community amongst themselves. [From that, we] built on the objectives that we wanted to reach, exposing them to careers, especially within STEM, and supporting them through their college readiness.”

BTE Orange County

BTE Orange County students visit Disneyland

This collaborative ethos extends beyond internal teams to include partnerships with schools, nonprofits, and partners like Johnson & Johnson. Vimel Rajoo, BTE Singapore’s site coordinator, shares, “We partnered with other nonprofits to come in with their different skillsets and expertise, specializing in technology and digital space. They taught our students about user interface, user experience, and how to design software – the skills that are relevant for students.” By leveraging existing relationships and resources, the program maximizes its impact and creates a supportive ecosystem for student success.

While BTE’s collaboration builds networks, it is the program’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances which is key to its resilience. When faced with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, many sites quickly pivoted to remote learning and implemented innovative strategies to ensure student engagement. Garcia Bedolla reflects on the Orange County site’s approach, stating, “We worked smarter, not harder, to leverage resources and support already at the high school. We checked in with students on how we can support them and connected them to the school resources such as their counselors and higher education coordinators.”

By prioritizing student needs and remaining flexible in their approach, the program maintains its effectiveness in an ever-changing environment. “We always have a lens on what the students need to be able to participate in the program, and we took that lens even during COVID, making sure to equip them with what they may need. We also hosted sessions at different times, piloting what would work and making sure to incorporate different activities. We always checked in with the students as to what was happening outside of the program. Understanding that the program is one little factor within their lives and that they have lives at home and at school was important. So, we figured out how we could fit BTE to students’ puzzles rather than trying to tell all students that BTE had to be their only puzzle piece,” Garcia Bedolla says.

BTE Nigua

BTE Nigua students tour a workshop

Finally, a commitment to putting students first brings it all together. From personalized support such as one-on-one mentorship to engaging activities like science museum field trips and university campus tours, every aspect of the initiative is designed to meet each community’s unique needs. As Bernarda Filpo, a site coordinator in Nigua, DR, emphasizes, “Our BTE site worked at creating leadership among the students by working with them to understand what their needs are and help them explore careers in STEM, apply for scholarships, and the like.”

This student-centered approach extends beyond academics to include holistic development and community engagement, including community service that students often choose themselves. Site coordinators ask students what opportunities are most valuable to them during their planning process and incorporate student feedback into the schedules. Rajoo shares, “I think it’s important to have the youth voice in the program because BTE is for them. We got feedback from our students quite consistently.” By empowering students to take ownership of their learning journey, the program fosters a sense of agency and self-efficacy among participants.

Through the transformative power of collaboration, adaptability, and a student-centered approach, BTE sites bring positive change to students’ lives. Filpo shares, “I saw the evolution of the students from year one to year three, where students came in not knowing what they wanted to do and graduated from the program knowing what they wanted to do with their lives and plans for the future. That was BTE’s impact.” By working together, adapting to change, and prioritizing student needs, the program creates a supportive environment where students can thrive. As we look to the future, we invite others to draw inspiration from initiatives like BTE and continue to build bridges towards a brighter tomorrow for all.

BTE Singapore

BTE Singapore students interview a variety of professionals