Two Cedar BTE Students Shine on International Stage!

We are so proud of Cedar Shoals High School students Aseel Mansour and Hadiza Sarr.

They are both among the 50 students engaged in our Bridge to Employment program sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.

With our encouragement, they applied to serve as Student Ambassadors in Johnson & Johnson’s annual Alliance Building & Training Sessions. Among hundreds of applicants from across the globe who applied, only thirteen were selected.

And two of them were our own Aseel and Hadiza.

Below is the letter sent from Michael Bzdak, Executive Director, Global Community Impact, Johnson & Johnson, and others to Cedar Shoal Principal Tony Derricotte:

Dear Principal Derricotte,

Last week, Cedar Shoals High School students, Aseel Mansour and Hadiza Sarr, served as Student Ambassadors at Johnson & Johnson’s annual Alliance Building and Training Session (ABTS) on behalf of the Bridge to Employment (BTE) program. This year’s conference took place virtually and brought together 13 student ambassadors from across the globe including the United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Ireland, and South Africa. Selected from hundreds of applicants worldwide, they were outstanding representatives of your school and the BTE- Athens program.

During the three-day event, business representatives, higher education partners, educators, and intermediaries from around the world learned about model programs and what communities can do to provide academic enrichment opportunities, facilitate career exploration, prepare students for higher education, as well as learn about virtual engagement best practices and activities.  As part of this agenda, the Student Ambassadors earned a Virtual Communication Digital Badge, engaged in virtual interviews with Johnson & Johnson professionals and fellow BTE peers from around the world, and designed and produced recruitment videos based on their newfound video production and virtual communication knowledge. Student ambassadors presented final recruitment videos to our extended BTE family during the Student Ambassador Showcase, which was streamed LIVE for all the world to see. This year’s students truly did a phenomenal job!

We encourage you to watch and share the three LIVE events that were held during this year’s virtual ABTS experience. You can find recordings for all three videos on the ABTS 2020 Live Events page.

Throughout the rest of the year, we will be highlighting the students and their work at ABTS on the BTE Website,  BTE Facebook page, Twitter @BTEtweets, and Instagram @BTEgrams.

Aseel and Hadiza demonstrated exceptional teamwork, leadership, technical and communication skills, effective collaboration, and kindness in working with students from around the globe. They are stellar examples of what Johnson & Johnson’s BTE program strives to achieve, and you can be proud of their accomplishments. I encourage you to talk with them about their experiences.

On behalf of all BTE Athens program partners, including Janssen and Family Connection- Communities in Schools in Athens, thank you for your continued support.

It has been a pleasure working with your community!


Michael Bzdak, Executive Director, Global Community Impact, Johnson & Johnson

Yezenia Ramos, Senior Manager, Global Community Impact, Johnson & Johnson

Lisa Johnson, BTE Program Director, FHI 360

Amanda McMahon, BTE Program Director, FHI 360

Tiffany Nesbey, ABTS Student Ambassador Coordinator, FHI 360

Cherine Smith, ABTS Student Ambassador Coordinator, FHI 360

Tim Johnson, BTE- Athens Site Coordinator, Family Connection- Communities in Schools in Athens

Valencia Thornton, BTE- Athens Site Coordinator, Cedar Shoals High School

Cathy Baker, BTE- Athens Champion, Janssen

We are so proud of these great leaders!

We are also proud of Johnson & Johnson scientist Cathy Baker who coordinates STEM2D workshops for our BTE students and was a presenter at the conference.

We appreciate Johnson & Johnson for creating the program nearly 30 years ago, engaging with us to bring it to Athens, funding it, and providing ongoing training and support.

We appreciate all our great partners: Clarke County School District, Cedar Shoals High School, UGA Office of Service Learning, and others.

And, as always, we appreciate the community’s support to make all of our work possible.













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