From Imani Davis, Rutgers University Corporate Social Responsibility Fellow
As part of my responsibility as the Corporate Social Responsibility Fellow, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. this past October for the 13th annual Alliance Building & Training Session (ABTS)— a professional development and networking opportunity that brought together all Bridge to Employment (BTE) programs. Johnson & Johnson established the BTE program to help young people build solid futures by introducing them to a broad array of careers in health care.
This session allowed partners from around the world to share best practices as well as plan the next steps of their respective programs. The session also allowed interaction between students, mentors, school administrators, and corporate partners.
At this conference, I served two roles: student ambassador chaperone, which allowed me to work with a student group on their case study (they won best overall presentation, by the way!), and “roving” reporter, which allowed me to interview partners within every role of the BTE program; these interviews gave great insight from a variety of perspectives on how BTE impacted not only students’ lives, but also left a great impression on the mentors, administrators, and staff that worked with students.
This impression was also imparted on me. While playing the role of reporter was a fantastic experience, I really enjoyed working with and helping students with their case studies. Their energy and eagerness to learn were super inspiring and kept me enthused through a jam-packed conference schedule. While I was happy to have helped them with their presentation, I was also grateful for the opportunity to meet young people who will surely be our future leaders, and hear first-hand how BTE has shaped their college and career interests.