Bridging the Gap

Bridge Graduation

This has been the busiest ever summer for the Bridge Program; we celebrated the graduation of 84 students, matched over 110 new students starting university with scholarships, and engaged 160 potential scholarship students in our University Preparation Course (UPC). We’re growing at a pace we couldn’t have ever imagined.

For the 6th year running, eight volunteers from Duke University participated in the DukeEngage Program in Lebanon. The volunteers provided additional SAT preparation to our UPC students.
SAT preparation is just one part of our students’ lengthy university application process. Over the next two years, these students will be given college guidance and counselling, before being matched with donors and funding for Universities in Lebanon and across the world.
A special thanks to Dr. Maha Al Houssami and Julia Daley from the DukeEngage Programs and the wonderful Duke students for their invaluable contribution to UPC 2018.

Over 110 students, the intake of 2018 – 2019, just crossed the bridge into their universities in Lebanon and abroad. This could not have been possible without the generous support of our donors, staff, and volunteers.
Applications for the Bridge Program will open in October 2018 and is open to all. Here’s to another year of students having access to higher education!

84 students graduated from the Bridge program this year. Our bright Bridge Program participants celebrated their graduation from university, bringing the number of Bridge alumni to 411.
The ceremony was magical, tearful, sentimental and inspiring. The president of Lebanese American University, Dr. Joseph Jabbra, delivered a moving keynote speech filled with words of encouragement and enlightenment.


UPC 2017

Bridge is currently preparing and organizing interviews for the University Preparatory Course (UPC) Program that will run in July and August. The Bridge Scholarship Committee will be interviewing 200 10th graders from different UNRWA schools as of the beginning of May 2017. With the cooperation of volunteers from the ‘Duke Engage’ program as well as university students benefitting from a scholarship from the Bridge Program, we will be able to provide 150 students with university preparation, including SAT training and university guidance this Summer.

UPC Stars!

Mohammad Akel, who completed the UPC course in 2015, is currently on a scholarship to complete his high school education at Unite World College (UWC) in the United Kingdom. Coming from Ain el-Hilwe camp in Saida, Mohammad managed, in a very short time-period, to adapt to a new life on campus and become one of the most involved students in extra-curricular activities. Recently, he was a speaker at the TEDxYouth@UWCAC. He used this platform to raise awareness on the state and struggle of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Youssef Abou El Neaj, from the Bekaa region, was also a UPC student in 2014. Like Mohammad, Yousef is also on a scholarship to study at UWC in the UK. He is currently in Grade 12 and expected to graduate this year. Yousef was always known for his dedication towards education, and outstanding personality. Both factors played a role in Yousef recently receiving his acceptance letter from Harvard University!

It brings us great such joy to see our students achieve this level of success at a very young age!


October 2016 witnessed the launch of the Bridge Scholarship website. Unlike in previous years, students in Grade 12 will here on apply for the Bridge Program online, which means that ULYP will reach a larger group of students living outside of Beirut as they can apply from the comfort of their home. We currently have around 250 scholarship applicants (and counting) from all over Lebanon. We expect to provide between 100 and 120 scholarships to students who will be studying at universities in Lebanon and abroad for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Duke Engage: Bridging the gap between the USA and Lebanon.

Duke 2013This summer ULYP had the pleasure of welcoming seven American volunteers from Duke University, on the Duke Engage program. Christophe Viret, Jessica Gronna, Ishaan Jalan, Annabel Wang, Etka Kurucan, Eric Peterson and Kathy Zhou all volunteered as teachers in the Bridge program, giving classes on SAT preparation, extra English and college counselling.

The volunteers shared three key interests which brought them together and made them work well as a team: a strong interest in the culture and language of the Middle East, a desire to enhance social equality and a love for working with youth and children. The volunteers agreed that their time in Lebanon was both about teaching others as well as personal development through learning about Lebanese culture and the Arabic language.

The Duke Engage volunteers contributed to making the summer Bridge program a great success and we thank them for their hard work and wish them all the best of luck in the future.