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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.


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Bridge Program Saturday Academy Students holding signs that say Engage, Empower, Educate

Students of every background from across the St. Louis area and beyond have benefited from the Bridge Program’s Saturday Academy, which provides courses in mathematics, science and written and oral communication as well as career, personal and professional development. The Cigna Foundation is continuing to support that work with a new $200,000 grant. (Photo courtesy of Channon Peoples)

Cigna Foundation awards $200,000 grant to support Bridge Program’s Saturday Academy

The Cigna Foundation is helping the University of Missouri–St. Louis continue its longstanding efforts to prepare area high school students of every background for college success through the Bridge Program‘s Saturday Academy.


Bridge Program honors latest college-bound seniors to complete Express Scripts Saturday Academy

Tyler Wright is winding down his senior year at Pattonville High School and still deciding on his future plans. Wright knows he wants to study molecular biology.

Since Express Scripts first announced the major investment two years ago, a dozen north St. Louis County teens have benefited from the scholarship support, including (front row, from left) Kendra Clark, Danielle Fedrick, Kalynn Clinton, Mya Miranda, Nick Rosario and Ahriel Foreman along with (back row, from left) Kevin Hall, Jenita Larry, Matthew Ayinmodu, Faith Ferguson and Sarah Staples.

Meet the newest UMSL Bridge Program Express Scripts Scholars

 Mya Miranda finds it difficult to put into words how much her scholarship to attend the University of Missouri–St. Louis has meant on a personal level.

From tessellations to forensics, Summer Academy lessons shape St. Louis youth for future success

There’s a depth to the curriculum offered in Bridge that goes beyond the traditional school setting – and ultimately prepares them for what they will experience in college.

Felesha Clarke first recipient of the Dr. Donald Suggs Scholarship at UMSL

Clarke plans to study engineering through the Joint Engineering Program run in a partnership between UMSL and Washington University in St. Louis.

Express Scripts commits $2.5 million to UMSL’s precollegiate Bridge Program

A new partnership with Express Scripts will allow the University of Missouri–St. Louis to expand its efforts to help local young people thrive.

Ameren partners with UMSL to enhance Opportunity Scholars, Bridge programs

Ameren Corporation Chairman, President and CEO Warner Baxter announced the partnership as part of the company’s $2.5 million multifaceted initiative.

UMSL offers "Bridge" to college

For more than 29 years, the UMSL Bridge Program has served St. Louis-area students by bulldozing barriers to college entry and paving the way for the leaders of tomorrow. 

Bridge Program commends Saturday Academy participants

Held at America’s Center, the event marked the conclusion of another successful year of hard work by the students, parents, staff and faculty involved in Bridge.

UMSL Bridge Program honored for impact on St. Louis Community

When FOCUS St. Louis considers the question of which organizations and individuals are making a difference in the region, UMSL is among the answers.

Eye on UMSL: Summer Academy

UMSL alumnus Terrence L. Freeman, a professor of mechanical engineering at St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley, addresses Bridge student.

UMSL student says Bridge Program helped in ‘so many ways’

“I said I was 100 percent against the idea,” said Williams. “But the UMSL Bridge Program ended up being a really great experience for me in so many ways.”

UMSL’s Bridge Program graduating another class of scholars

Bridge remains a highly successful program with 100 percent of participating seniors enrolling in post-secondary institutions.

Bridge Program receives national award from College Board

“I am extremely proud of the tremendous work the Bridge Program has done for more than 26 years preparing young students for postsecondary educational opportunities.”

UMSL bridges gap between high school and college for some Hazelwood School District students

Bridge program reaches out to underserved students throughout the St. Louis area, helping them gain college, professional skills.