Bronx Zoo
Bridging the Gap

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

Bridging the Gap connects high school students interested in conservation science, zoology, marine science, ecology, or biology, directly with professionals in those fields. Receive hands-on experience, mentoring, and obtain information in areas including educational planning, financial aid options, effective job search methods, resume building, networking, job referral, and more. *

See firsthand what Bridging the Gap is all about! Read this article.

The program consists of 3 cohorts of 50 students each. Students are selected on a variety of criteria including interest in STEM, willingness to commit to all phases of the project, and school and parental support.

Program Overview

Bridging the Gap's programming is grouped into four phases:

Phase I: School-to-Career Institute

The School-to-Career Institute is an intensive learning program which seeks to introduce participants to the variety of science careers in zoos and aquariums. Students will attend 11 sessions that include conducting animal behavior studies, designing a zoo exhibit, and learning about the variety of zoo and aquarium careers by meeting with WCS staff.

Phase II: Mentoring

To increase networking opportunities and communication between students in our first two cohorts and WCS staff members, eight monthly community mentoring sessions were conducted at each WCS facility. Topics of discussion included: job readiness, college preparation, visualization techniques and goal setting methods, interviewing, and advocacy skills.

Phase III: Career Building Clinic (College Bootcamp)

Students will develop a skill acquisition plan that will include high school course selection, interview coaching, college applications, scholarships/financial aid, and campus visits.

Phase IV: Internships/Employment

WCS offers a variety of paid internship experiences for Bridging the Gap participants that include hands-on work experience and job shadowing opportunities.

Updates from Bridging the Gap

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Cohort 1

Cohort 2

Cohort 3

*Bridging the Gap is supported through a generous $1.1 million dollar grant from The National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent federal agency.