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Bridges to a Brighter Future outreach program names new class

Last updated June 16, 2017

By Tina Underwood

Twenty-six Greenville County high school students have been invited to participate in Bridges to a Brighter Future at Furman University, a program whose mission is to give students the tools and support they need to overcome barriers, graduate from high school and enroll in college. The new class marks the 21st year of the educational outreach program.

Since the program was launched in 1997, nearly 500 Greenville County students, including the newest class, have participated in Bridges to a Brighter Future.

“Bridges students have already demonstrated both academic and leadership potential by their ninth grade year, yet they face financial barriers or personal circumstances that may prevent them from achieving what they are truly capable of,” said Carrie Silver, newly appointed director of Bridges to a Brighter Future. “Here, students participate in life-changing experiences that help them discover who they are to build the self-confidence and resiliency they need to succeed in life.”

The 26 students were chosen this year from a pool of 95 applicants. To be considered for the program, teachers and counselors nominate high school freshmen candidates who then complete written applications and participate in interviews.

Once selected, students take part in a comprehensive, year-round program, which includes three components. Through Saturday College, students receive tutoring and community-focused activities throughout the academic year. For three consecutive summers, students attend Bridges Foundations, a four-week residential program on the Furman campus that provides students with academic and personal support. And finally, Crossing the Bridge focuses on assisting students with the college enrollment process and the transition from high school to college. In all, the Bridges program includes more than seven years of support.

The new class will join 50 students already in the high school component of the program, bringing the total to 76 current Bridges students.

Students named as part of Bridges to a Brighter Future’s 21st class are:

Berea High School: Zion Robinson
Berea High School/Star Academy: Maria Felix-Maldonado
Blue Ridge High School: Angel Ferreira
Brashier Charter High School: Sherri Castillo
Carolina High School: Olmin Garcia, Zackary Gann
Eastside High School: Britany Bonilla-Martinez, Jesus Cruz
Greenville Early College: Juanesha Wilson
Greenville High School: Summer Young
Greenville Technical Charter High School: Jack Nelson, Andres Ospina
Greer High School: Carlton Richardson
Hillcrest High School: Nichole LaMarche, Kadian Patterson
JL Mann High School: Donia Soryal
Legacy Charter School: Zharia Anderson
Mauldin High School: Cordazha Washington, Kendaija Witt
Riverside High School: David Valencia
Southside High School: Alexia Porcher
Travelers Rest High School: Isaiah Carr, Taytum Bryson
Wade Hampton High School: Sheyla Maldonado-Barahona, Solomon Troupe
Woodmont High School: Kerry Black

Learn more about Bridges to a Brighter Future at, or contact director Carrie Silver at 864-294-3135, or

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