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Wildlife Conservation Society Releases Results of its Bridging the Gap Program

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a global organization headquartered at the Bronx Zoo, recently completed a 3-year program to increase awareness of and motivation to pursue zoo and conservation careers among local high school students. Bridging the Gap, funded by the National Science Foundation, included hands-on experiences at four NYC zoos and the New York Aquarium, and consisted of School-to-Career workshops, Career Building weekends, parent events, internships, and community mentoring with zoo staff. WCS recruited 150 students, most of whom self-identified as being Hispanic or African American, over the course of the three years.

Hezel Associates partnered with WCS to help examine the potential impact the programming had on the 150 students who attended. Highlights, found here, indicate that overall, the program increased students’ interest in STEM careers, helped them gain confidence in preparing to attend college, and improved their knowledge of wildlife sciences.

A colorful booklet, featuring participating student stories, can be found here. Hezel Associates’ final report is available here.