SUCCESS, Nothing Less!
Bridges to a Brighter Future at Furman University is a nationally awarded comprehensive college access and success program designed for Greenville County, South Carolina high school and college students whose potential outdistances their circumstances. Bridges is an academic program designed to expose students to college life while addressing and eliminating the personal, social, and cultural barriers that often prevent low-income and first-generation students from achieving college graduation.
Bridges to A Brighter Future joined the Division of Student Life at Furman University at the beginning of the fall semester, and our website will be migrating to the Furman website. If you have any questions about programming, volunteering, or supporting our efforts, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridges to a Brighter Future at Furman University
The mission of Bridges to a Brighter Future at Furman University is to transform the lives of students whose potential outdistances their circumstances by providing educational access and opportunity through a comprehensive program that builds self-confidence, resiliency, and leadership in order to break the cycle of poverty through post-secondary education.
Bridges to a Brighter Future at Furman University provides academic support and engagement for our students to prepare them for current and future challenges and triumphs. We provide Bridges students with the knowledge, resources, guidance, and confidence to graduate from high school, successfully plan to complete college, and enter the workplace equipped for success. In cooperation with Greenville County Schools and with community support, we offer year-round student programming for Bridges students through college graduation.
Bridges to a Brighter Future began in 1997 because of the vision and founding endowment of a very special woman in Greenville, South Carolina, Mrs. Mamie Jolley Bruce. Mrs. Bruce grew up in Greenville, graduated from Greenville High School and went on to graduate from Randolph College in 1944. Bridges began as a four-week summer academic enrichment program serving students from three Greenville County high schools: Greenville, Carolina, and Southside. Twenty-one students were selected to form the first class. It was determined that each class would be identified with a letter from the Greek Alphabet. The first class attended the first four-week summer program in the summer of 1997. In 2000, the program expanded the number of schools served by Bridges to a Brighter Future to include all 14 Greenville County high schools and four charter schools. The program now welcomes 27 outstanding students to the Bridges family each year. In 2005, we expanded the programming to include “Saturday College,” providing year-round academic support, and in 2010, we created a formal college transition and retention component, “Crossing the Bridge.” With Crossing the Bridge, Bridges to a Brighter Future at Furman University now formally supports students from the summer leading up to their sophomore year in high school through college graduation.
Programming for Bridges Scholars
Bridges to a Brighter Future at Furman accepts nominations each January through our partner High School Counselors in public schools in Greenville County, South Carolina. Current ninth grade students in Greenville County Schools can be nominated by teachers, counselors, community members, coaches, mentors, and students may also self-nominate. The process includes completion of the application and an in-person interview.
To be considered, ninth grade students must meet the following criteria:
Low income (eligible for free or reduced lunch)
Need for program support
3.0 grade point average
Clean disciplinary record
Monthly Saturday College offers ongoing college preparatory experiences with speakers from universities and community organizations and includes college application programming, scholarship assistance, and career awareness opportunities.
A summer residential program, Bridges Foundations, offers a college experience at Furman University with classes taught by seasoned professionals, college planning courses, and opportunities for college tours. The summer program also offers classes on health and well-being.
Each scholar engages in one-to-one meetings with a member of our staff at their high school on a rotating basis throughout the school year, and a pairing with mentors from the Furman University and Greenville communities.
College tours are planned during fall and spring breaks and once in the summer to acclimate students to a variety of college settings, and prepare them for Crossing the Bridge that concentrates on college success.