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Beyond the Classroom: Rondell’s Reflections on How BTG Fosters Academic & Personal Growth

As we conclude another remarkable academic year at Bridge the Gap, I am delighted to share reflections on our journey, the success of our students, and our exciting plans for the future.
Celebrating Our Graduates
This year, we are proud to celebrate the graduation of 27 seniors, with over 80% of them being eligible for four-year colleges. This is a remarkable achievement, especially considering that the national average for college eligibility is approximately 63%, and the average for Marin County is around 77%. Our students have surpassed these benchmarks significantly. Notable success stories include:
  • 17-year old Kenneth, who learned to speak English as a young immigrant four years ago, is graduating a year early and will be attending Sonoma State University this fall. 
  • Zuni, a student from Pakistan who has maximized the resources available to her, is the recipient of a highly selective scholarship from the Redwoods Community. Zuni is deciding among three incredible options for college this fall. 
  • Zion, who initially planned to enter the construction field after high school, but, after working with our college advisor Chinna and participating in the resume workshop, is now headed to Sonoma State University, leveraging all available financial aid.
  • A student who completed her graduation requirements a year early, took some needed personal time off this Spring, and is now back and actively applying to colleges. We are proud of her decision and are excited to support her.
These students demonstrate the resilience and determination typical of our students, and the supportive environment we create at Bridge the Gap.
Building Community and Connection
At Bridge the Gap, we believe in meeting students right where they are on their academic journeys, even when they need to take a “rest stop.” This year, our focus on building community and fostering connections has proven to be instrumental in our students’ success. Our full-time student advisor, Dayrin, provides on-campus support, ensuring that students always have a safe and supportive adult when they need one.
Our commitment to community and connection is reflected in our Student Success Equation: Supportive Relationships with Staff + Partnerships Between BTG + Schools + Financial Support = Student Success. This model, analogous to a three-legged stool, maintains stability and supports our students’ academic and personal growth.
Our outreach efforts and connections with families were significantly strengthened this year, particularly through staff members who speak the native language of our families. For instance, Dayrin’s fluency in Spanish has allowed us to build much closer relationships with our Spanish-speaking families, fostering trust and better communication.
Summer Programs and Future Plans
We are thrilled to highlight our summer programs, which include credit recovery, career and college workshops, and orientation for incoming freshmen. These programs are designed to provide continuous support and prepare our students for future success.
In addition to these programs, our spring activities, such as the college tour in Southern California and graduation celebrations, have proven valuable in fostering a sense of community among our students. The tour allowed students to explore college campuses and envision themselves there.
Upcoming Celebrations
As we prepare for the upcoming graduation, we are excited about several events that celebrate our seniors. These include Senior Decision Day, Tam Awards Night, BTG’s Senior Graduation Dinner, and in August, our High School Senior Send Off Event. These celebrations honor our graduates and their achievements, and we look forward to acknowledging each student’s hard work in front of their families.

Strengthening Community Connections
Our efforts to deepen community connections are ongoing. This summer, we will continue to build relationships with students and their families, emphasizing the importance of support systems in achieving academic success. By building strong relationships with families, especially with the support of our bilingual staff, we create a more inclusive and supportive environment for our students.
Gratitude and Looking Ahead
I am incredibly grateful for the collective efforts of our dedicated team, including Chinna, Ayanna, Dayrin and our intern Hajra. Their commitment to our students is the cornerstone of our success.
Thank you for your continued support of Bridge the Gap. Together, we are making a meaningful difference in the lives of our students and the broader Marin City and Southern Marin community. Let’s continue to empower more students and foster a brighter future for all.
Get Involved
Are you inspired by the successes and stories from Bridge the Gap? Subscribe to our newsletter and join us in making a difference! Learn more about our programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can support our mission by visiting our website. Together, we can continue to empower students and build a brighter future for all.
Visit Bridge the Gap today to get involved!