BridgeYear connects underserved youth to careers and educational pathways that provide economic stability and independence.


The journey to BridgeYear started at Sharpstown High School. As a Biology teacher, Victoria Chen gave students hands-on learning experiences by conducting as many labs as she could. As the college and career counselor, Victoria Doan highlighted different career trajectories by bringing in guest speakers and taking students on multiple site visits. Despite those efforts, they noticed that students still struggled to answer one key question: What do YOU want to be after high school?

Chen and Doan soon realized that students – particularly those who did not wish to attend a four-year college – need a different type of counseling experience to identify their path after high school. Traditional methods of career exploration often fail to engage students and many post-high school pathways are often omitted.

Following these observations, Chen and Doan created BridgeYear as the missing link connecting students to viable and accessible career opportunities.

Since its inception in June 2016, BridgeYear has been recognized for its innovation and impact. BridgeYear has been selected for the 4.0 Schools Tiny Fellowship, the Thorne Prize for Social Innovation at Yale University, and the Points of Light Civic Accelerator. 


Our vision is for all students to graduate high school with a path to gainful employment. However, many assume the only path to success requires a four-year college degree – BridgeYear is working to correct that assumption. 

BridgeYear seeks to enlighten students to the numerous career options that require less than a four-year degree. These options are high-growth, high-demand careers that many people are unaware of or might overlook. By opening students’ eyes to these opportunities early in middle and high school, we enable students to start earning real money right after high school graduation. 

We fundamentally believe there is no “one size fits all” approach to education and that multiple options must be made available for students to make informed decisions about their futures. 



5250 Gulfton Street, Suite 2E

Houston, TX 77081