Bridge Celebrates 2022 Graduation — In-Person at Last!

July 7, 2022

Bridge Over Troubled Waters is proud to announce the graduation of 24 of our youth from various courses of study, including the state HiSET program, vocational certification programs, and associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs from public and private universities. To honor their achievements, on June 30, students participated in a special procession from our 47 West St offices to Suffolk Law School, where we held our formal graduation ceremony in person for the first time since 2019.

The ceremony was a fitting tribute to all that our students have accomplished academically over the past three years and was emceed by Education and Career Coordinator Kat James, who acknowledged the students’ achievements by saying, “We’ve all heard the phrase superheroes don’t wear capes, but my superheroes don’t wear capes because today they’re wearing royal blue caps and gowns.”

Our first student speaker, Jacob, celebrated the earning of his HiSET and his HVAC license. Jacob recounted, “Where I came from was a rough place and hard times, of course, doing everything on my own. So, when I first came to Bridge, they helped me out a lot. They helped me accomplish a lot of things I thought I’d never accomplish, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.” Jacob is starting his own AC company in Florida, where he is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Florida Tech University. Fellow student speaker Zaiana echoed this message of determination, saying, “To whoever doubted us, whoever thought we wouldn’t make it […] we’re stronger than most.” Zaiana will begin pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Roxbury Community College in the fall.

Our keynote speaker, Kevin Simon, MD, a new Bridge board member and the recently appointed Chief Behavioral Health Officer for the Boston Public Health Commission, conveyed a message about the importance of putting in the work behind the scenes, “You see the forward-facing side of success at a graduation, but long before the cap and gown, there was a lot of work and effort these students had to put in when there wasn’t a crowd.” Lindsay Huff, ETO and Data Coordinator, who was on hand to read out the names of the graduates, admitted that “the fact that you’re [all] here today is one of my dreams come true.”

Finally, Bridge President and CEO Elisabeth Jackson commended the students for all their hard work. “I am so proud of you guys,” she said, and reminded youth, “Don’t give up on yourselves, and Bridge will never give up on you.”

We are thrilled to be able to celebrate our students’ accomplishments in-person and acknowledge all of their effort and persistence. Our Education & Career Development program is one of the backbones of our organization, helping students to not only complete their education, but also to prepare for the workforce and find meaningful careers. With this event, we celebrated students’ persistence as well as our team’s hard work in helping them every step of the way.

We wish to express a sincere thank you as well to Suffolk Law School for hosting our celebration, to Keith Quenzel for photographing the event, and to MFS Investment Management, whose generous gift made this celebration possible.