Bridge Program Saturday Academy celebrates latest group of college-bound graduates during annual Award Recognition and Closing Ceremony

Natissia Small, UMSL’s vice provost for access, academic support and workforce integration, and Bridge Program Director Channon Peoples hug graduating seniors from the Cigna Saturday Academy after presenting them with cords to commemorate their completion of the program during the 37th Annual Award Recognition and Closing Ceremony on Saturday morning at America’s Center. (Photos by Steve Walentik)

More than 300 area high school students and their families, all dressed in their Sunday best, filed into a second floor ballroom at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis Saturday morning for the University of Missouri–St. Louis Bridge Program Cigna Saturday Academy’s 37th annual Award Recognition and Closing Ceremony.

There was much to celebrate with the breakfast event back in person for the first time in three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though there has been no disruption in the Bridge Program delivering quality precollegiate support and education to students of every background from across the region during that time.

The past year has been no different with high school freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors gathering for extra instruction in mathematics, science and written and oral communication, as well as personal and professional development, two Saturday mornings each month on the UMSL campus.