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Bronx Opportunity Network


The Bronx Opportunity Network (BON) is a partnership with a group of seven Bronx-based organizations with long histories of performing social services in the South Bronx. Working with Bronx Community College and Hostos Community College, the BON’s mission is to enable underprepared Bronx students to improve their academic skills, overcome personal barriers, and enroll in and complete college.

The Challenge

Young adults in the Bronx face a disproportionate challenge finding good jobs. While roughly 50% of all NYC young adults are currently employed, only 40% in the Bronx are. Part of this is due to the fact that Bronx young adults are frequently able to get into college but lack the necessary support to accumulate credits and progress toward graduation.


of young adults in the Bronx without a high school diploma, not in school, and not working


of young adults in the Bronx with a high school diploma do not have a postsecondary credential and are not in school


of young adults in the Bronx that have a postsecondary credential are not working

The Approach

Given the need for individualized academic support, the BON is structurally integrated into Bronx Community College and Hostos Community College, with offices on campus and direct access to college leadership. BON partners work together to promote and advance campus initiatives that support the educational success of their students. This allows the network to inform institutional policy, which addresses four major challenges that disproportionately affect High School Equivalency Diploma recipients who aspire to community college: 

  1. Remediation of their reading, writing, and math skills to help them reach college-level efficiency
  2. Acculturation to the unique culture of a college campus that requires and rewards tenacity, self-direction, and adaptability
  3. Navigation of multiple—and often complicated—processes to apply for admission, identify and register for the right classes, and access financial aid
  4. Support and encouragement to reach graduation


The BON’s collaboration with community colleges has resulted in a new set of policies at the college level. This includes working with various institutions’ administrative staff to offer individualized support for BON students, developing a strategy that connects more Bronx residents to college pathways, and cutting tuition costs for BON students.

$4.9M+FUNDS RAISED & Invested

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Related Publications

JobsFirstNYC Bronx Opportunity Network Overview

The Bronx Opportunity Network (BON) is a collaborative effort among a group of seven CBOs serving young adults in the South Bronx, which, in partnership...

Innovations in the Field: Bronx Opportunity Network

Innovations in the Field is a series examining inventive programs supported by JobsFirstNYC. It has traditionally focused on workforce efforts that serve both employers and young...

Common Cause: Community-Based Organizations and Community Colleges Partner for Student Success

Having absorbed the message that college is no longer optional, many high school students today make plans to attend a local community college the fall...

Lessons from the Bronx Opportunity Network on Promoting CBO-Community College Partnerships

The October 2016 OYIF Convening included an Innovation Design Studio focused on lessons learned from the Bronx Opportunity Network (BON). BON is a collaborative of...

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