Madrid, Spain

Grant Period: 2009-2013

Community partners make a program greater than the sum of its parts.

Bridge to Employment – Madrid, Spain sought to alleviate the social, educational, and economic inequalities among Spain’s at-risk youth. With a scoring unemployment rate at the time, the program targeted students, between the ages of 16 and 22 years old, enrolled in the Certified Nursing Assistant and Pharmaceutical Aid programs (Middle Vocational Training grades). Five individuals representing different organizations and interests came together to make this program happen. Today, BTE – Madrid continues, long after the original program cycle.

Esperanza Breso served as the Johnson & Johnson Bridge to Employment champion. She worked with all partners and serves as the internal contact person for all local operating company volunteers.

Carmen Luis brought together education partners ranging from Prado de Santo Domingo High school and the Complutense University in Madrid.

Ivelise Mattos coordinated and participated in BTE activities ranging from mentor training, project planning, and student English classes. Ivelise worked with teachers, volunteers and students to organize timetables, venues, and materials.

Inés Moradillos represented Villaverde High School and acted as a facilitator during the design and implementation phases of the project.

Irene Muñoz de la Nava, from Fundación Tomillo, served as the link between the Johnson & Johnson, community partners, students, high schools, and rest of collaborators (University/ education centers/ teachers, volunteers, etc). As one colleague describes, Irene “is the soul of the project and her enthusiasm is the power that moves the BTE machine.”

The impact for the first cohort of BTE – Madrid students was profound:

  • 58 students from three area secondary schools enrolled in the BTE program.
  • 218 students were indirectly served by the program and its activities.
  • 84.2% of BTE students successfully passed degree exams.
  • 36 out of 57 students (63%) are employed in the health field – substantially better than the Spanish Youth
  • Unemployment Rate (currently 51%); a total of 52 contracts were offered to BTE students. Additional employment expected following program graduation