Each year in the U.S., approximately 400,000 youth with disabilities exit public high schools. The majority will remain unemployed in the year following high school graduation.
Bridges from School to Work, simply known as Bridges, has spent 30 years making an impact in some of our nation’s largest cities, and we’re just hitting our stride. We are a recognized leader in youth opportunity programs. Our intensive hands-on approach helps young adults with disabilities find meaningful jobs during and after they complete high school. We match youth with businesses seeking capable entry-level workers and provide the training, mentoring, and long-term support they need to thrive. We have connected nearly 22,000 young adults with disabilities to jobs with more than 5,300 employers in 12 U.S. cities.
In 1989, the descendants of J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, the founders of Marriott International, established Bridges from School to Work (Bridges). Since then, we have continued to help youth exiting U.S. special education programs prepare for and connect to their first jobs. These jobs enhance their employment and career prospects through their 20s and 30s. Our organization is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity that operates with a mission of transforming lives of youth with disabilities through the power of a job.
Today our network of Bridges programs reaches youth, schools, and employers in: