The HDS Foundation has consistently supported the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) programs in Broward County Schools. For the 2019-2020 school year, the Foundation is hoping to continue its work in Broward County, but also to expand their support to include Miami-Dade County.

The BRIDGES program first partnered with Cypress Bay High School in the 2015-2016 school year. Since this partnership, the program has been able to expand the activities that the students participate in. Not only does this program facilitate weekly field trips for the students, but it also has given each student their own checking account. Participating in these outings and utilizing their checking accounts enables the students to work on their daily life skills such as budgeting and independent functioning.

“The BRIDGES program has been extremely successful at Cypress Bay High School. I have been privileged to be able to attend many of the field trips and participate in various functions with the students of Cypress Bay. Over the course of just one school year, I can see substantial differences and improvements in the quality of the social skills of these students. They learn so much from participating,” said Carla Otiniano, Program Manager of the HDS Foundation. She continued, “I am looking forward to next school year and expanding our BRIDGES program and expanding the commitment of the HDS Foundation. I know how impactful this program is, and I am excited to see the progress that the students will make.”

If you would like more information on the HDS Foundation and how you can get involved, visit us online at or e-mail [email protected].