Student Bridges and the people at the STEP program [where I tutor-mentor] have really brought me back down to reality, and they have made me cherish my own identity and culture as a Dominican American college student. Student Bridges has also helped me to find a community at UMass, to find something to relate to, and to keep me level-headed from all the stress of college life.

– Raul Callado, Communications Major, Class of 2007, Lawrence, MA


With my [Student Bridges tutoring-mentoring] team, I really felt that sense of belonging to a group that one may not feel in other organizations or classes

– Sandra Urquiza, Legal Studies Major, Class of 2007, Peru


Student Bridges has been my most interactive course, as well as challenging. This course has got me to think about how I engage with the community, and it has also taught me about things I could never have learned in a lecture.

– Tiffany Hermans, Sociology Major & Certificate in Public Policy and Administration, Class of 2008, Worcester, MA


I would like to highlight the level of attachment I feel to the students that I tutor. It has been one of the most incredible experiences for me to watch them learn and to listen to them talk about college, knowing that regardless of their backgrounds, that they can go to college with enough support

– Carla Dominguez, Political Science Major, Class of 2008, New York, NY


We believe that higher education should be accessible for everyone, regardless of their situation. Education is an option that people should have. Whether a person wants to continue their education should be their choice, their choice should not be decided for them because there are obstacles in their way.

– Tiffany Hermans, Sociology Major & Certificate in Public Policy and Administration, Class of 2008, Worcester, MA


I place an extremely high value on education, and my definition of education is quite broad, in that for me it draws no distinction between teacher and learning. And such is because I believe that no matter the designation of titles in an educational situation, all parties involved will be teaching to and learning from one another. It is because of this belief in reciprocity that I joined Student Bridges, because I strongly feel that the UMass Amherst campus and the city of Holyoke have a lot to learn from and teach to one another…

– William Todd Schemeling, Art Major, Class of 2008, Manasquan, NJ


Student Bridges is family. Having to take off a semester due to health issues, feeling out of the loop and just unsure about my academic career left me feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. But when I returned, Student Bridges welcomed me with open arms and was more than willing to give me the much needed support.

–Ashley M. Boursiquot, Psychology Major, Class of 2014, Boston MA


My favorite SB Memory was} At the end of my first Hip Hop Revolution (Fall 2012), “The Wobble” by V.I.C. came on. Within a matter of seconds, all staff members, volunteers and kids encouraged and brought one another up on stage and started dancing. It was so clear to me that Student Bridges was a family, and no would be left behind. I stood on stage, clueless to the dance moves, and no one did anything but smile.

– Chandler Kaplan, Public Health, Class of 2014, Boston MA


My time on staff has been so short, but it has been so enormously important in my personal and professional life. I will certainly miss the students, but I think that I will miss the staff the most. I have felt so accepted and loved! Plus, I’ve learned so much from everyone. My advice is to go outside your comfort zone and make an effort to develop a friendship with everyone on staff. Besides the fact that each person has different talents and advice to give, if we can create a truly unified staff then SB will operate to its fullest.

–Emily Dugan, Class of 2014