Athens, Georgia, USA

Welcome to our Community

Community Initiative

On July 1, 2019, Janssen Pharmaceutical with Clarke County School District, Family Connection – Communities In Schools of Athens, Communities In Schools, University of Georgia, Athens Technical College (ATC), Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, and Cedar Shoals High School launched a Bridge to Employment (BTE) program in Athens, Georgia, USA.

The three-year program will provide a variety of academic enrichment, career exploration, and higher education preparation opportunities to 53 Grade 10 students attending Cedar Shoals High School Year 2019-2020 in order to increase in the number of young people completing higher education and pursuing STEM careers. Specific program activities and support will be implemented throughout each program year to ensure students meet the designed yearly short-term outcomes.

Key activities in Year 1 include:

  •  Applied Learning Competition. Students will participate in teams to create an applied learning “pitch” project designed to inspire entrepreneurs and ingenuity. Real investors, mentors, and community entrepreneurs will serve as judges and meet the BTE program participants.
  • College & Career Readiness Workshops. Workshops will be designed to set students up for a lifetime of success by exploring college and career-readiness skills.
  • Career Exploration and Higher Education Exposure. Career exploration activities will follow a variety of formats from lunch-n-learns and tours to classes and internships. Students will be exposed to the working world that they may one day enter. All opportunities are designed to improve the student’s knowledge of STEM career options, better understand the working world, and motivate students to improve academic performance.
  • Post-secondary Preparation. Students will be exposed to a variety of activities including campus tours, mentoring by college students, ACT/SAT preparation classes, application counseling and support.
  • Student Leadership. BTE will integrate a range of student leadership activities into the program model: Encouraging students to attend tutoring sessions (rewards), providing opportunities to participate in leadership positions, and utilizing Social Media for the program.
  • Community Connections/Cultural Awareness. Students will receive cultural/community connection training to help raise awareness of the role diversity and culture can play in business.
  • Parent Engagement. Parent tours will be embedded into the BTE model to raise parent engagement and support, as well as answer questions for parents regarding the college process.
  • Student Recognition. BTE will include an annual kick off and closing event. The Year 3 closing event will recognize students during a graduation ceremony.
  • Outreach. Bring awareness of BTE through community engagement and outreach.


By June 2022, the BTE-Athens program anticipates achieving the following End-of-Grant outcomes:

  • 100% of BTE students graduate from high school.
  • 60% of BTE graduates complete a STEM2D pathway.
  • All BTE students apply to at least one post-secondary institution or program.
  • 90% of BTE graduates are accepted by and enroll in a post-secondary institution or program.
  • 100% of BTE graduates identified a specific career / discipline, with 65% electing to pursue a STEM2D discipline (major) as a career choice.
  • 100% of BTE graduates exhibit non-academic, college and work-readiness skills.
  • 100% of BTE graduates indicate that the program was a life changing experience.

More Information

Site Document

BTE-Athens, Georgia Program-Model