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