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Griffin Bridges Program

The Vision

Founded as a formal program in 1993, The Griffin Bridges Program provides educational, financial, and social support to enable academically talented, financially limited young men from the Greater Newark area to attend Seton Hall Preparatory School, the state’s oldest all boys Catholic Prep School. The Griffin Bridges Program is specifically designed to meet the needs of inner-city young men, regardless of race or creed, by providing them an environment where they can learn, develop, and realize their full potential.

Griffin Bridges 25th Cut 2R 040119 from Charlie Cusumano on Vimeo.

In addition to a four-year commitment in financial aid, scholars and their families are provided with a formal and extensive support network which includes:

  • An Alumni and Corporate Mentoring Program

    Seton Hall Prep alumni and local companies who volunteer, provide guidance, and are readily available to Griffin Bridges Scholars. The mentor-student relationship is intended to motivate the student not only to succeed academically, but also to gain a more positive perspective on his potential in life by helping students explore various career options and acting as a soundboard for students' ideas. GRIFFIN BRIDGES MENTOR APPLICATION

  • Peer “Big Brother” Program

    Big Brothers provide day-to-day support for Freshman and Sophomore Griffin Bridges Scholars. Some of the specific responsibilities include: establishing a standing appointment with their "Little Brothers" twice a week, provide tutoring and academic support when needed, and keeping a positive outlook in order to help build self-esteem and confidence. Scholars become Big Brothers in the Program during their Junior and Senior Year.

  • A Four-Year Counselor/Social Worker

    Griffin Bridges is fortunate to have, as part of the Program, a full time counselor who is also a social worker. His role is to support the Director in his efforts to promote the overall health and success of our Scholars. He provides four-year counseling, academic support, and college placement services. He also is a resource and support for the scholars' families, Big Brothers, and mentors.

  • A Full-Time Program Director

    The Program Director is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Program. He facilitates all the activities necessary to ensure that the goals and objectives of the Program are met. He maintains a relationship with non-profit and service organizations operating within the students' communities in order to expand the Program's network, thus maximizing opportunity for students in the Griffin Bridges Program.

  • The Griffin Bridges Advisory Committee

    The Griffin Bridges Advisory Committee

    The Griffin-Bridges Advisory Committee is a group of committed individuals who volunteer their time to assist with all the aspects of the program. In addition to attending our functions, the group meets several times a year to work on program policy, fundraising, event planning, decision-making and plotting the future of the program. They are the core support group for Griffin Bridges.

    • James L. Orsini '81
      COO · Vayner Media
    • Lt. Ronald S. Glover
      Director of Public Information · Newark Police Department
    • Kelli A. Griffin-Hutchinson H'08
      Daughter of the late Thomas J. Griffin '59
    • Dorrie Gagnon
      Registered Dental Hygenist· KinderSmile Oral Health Program
    • M. Randall Strickland '81
      Director at Cornerstone Capital Inc.
    • Nina M. Wells, Esq. H'03
      Former Secretary of State · State of New Jersey
    • John F. Castano '88
      Executive Director · NJ SEEDS
    • Rich Greene '90
      Social Worker · East Orange Public Schools
    • Shavar Jeffries '92
      President · Democrats for Education Reform
    • Joseph W. Walsh '61
      Former President
      The Amelior Foundation
    • Robert Gaccione '88
      Senior VP and Market Executive
      Enterprise Bank
    Members Ex-Officio
    • Msgr. Michael E. Kelly '57
      President, Seton Hall Prep
    • Rev. Msgr. Robert Harahan
      Headmaster, Seton Hall Prep
    • Kevin McNulty
      Assistant Headmaster, Seton Hall Prep
    • Walter McMahon
      Former Assistant. Headmaster & History Teacher
      Seton Hall Prep
    • Chris Barnitt
      Program Guidance Counselor and Social Worker
    • Matthew Cannizzo '90
      Director of Institutional Advancement
      Seton Hall Prep

Acting as a team, this vast support system affords a unique infrastructure that ensures each student has the necessary support he needs to thrive.

Our Results

The results are palpable. The Griffin Bridges Program has successfully enrolled and graduated over 100 young men in the last 25 years. Over this course of time every commencement and academic award that Seton Hall Prep bestows on graduation has been represented by a Griffin Bridges student—Valedictorian, the Award for Academic Excellence, subject area medallions for excellence in Calculus, History, Theology, Language, Humanities, Art, and Literary Achievement, among others. The list of universities attended by these graduates reads like a list of the countries most competitive colleges and universities—Princeton, Georgetown, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Pratt, Villanova, Duke, Kenyon, and more. We are also proud to report that our Program Alumni are giving back to their local communities and the inner-city as professionals, sponsors, mentors, advisory committee members, volunteers, and teachers.

Our Impact

With 100% of its Scholars accepted to four year colleges, Griffin Bridges is changing the paradigm for male students from the inner-city. Seton Hall Prep and Griffin Bridges wishes to continue its commitment to young men who want to succeed.

Twenty years after its inception, Griffin Bridges continues to connect young men from the inner city to opportunity and success. 

For more information please contact:

The Griffin Bridges Program
Seton Hall Preparatory School
120 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, New Jersey 07052
Phone: 973.325.PREP, ext. 6784


Eligibility for the Griffin Bridges Program

  • Who is an Ideal Candidate?

    In order to be considered for acceptance into the Griffin Bridges Program, students must be residents of the Greater Newark area. An ideal candidate must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement through his elementary school education. A candidate must show great interest in his own education, possess personal motivation, demonstrate the ability to work as a team player, and exhibit a genuine desire to be a part of the Seton Hall Prep community. Eligible candidates for the Griffin Bridges Program typically score within the top 50% of all eighth graders applying to Seton Hall Prep on their Entrance Exam.

    Who is Eligible?

    Eligibility is determined by family size and household income. To financially qualify for the Griffin Bridges Program a family's annual income should typically not exceed the amount on the income chart below.

    Household Size Annual Income
    3 $39,000
    4 $46,500
    5 $54,000

    For each additional dependent add $7,500

    If the family is not within the given financial parameters, but believes that consideration is still warranted, Griffin Bridges will review the application on an individual basis.

    We realize there are many other factors that may affect a family's income status, e.g. mortgage payments, whether or not they have IRA accounts, if they have other educational expenses, etc. Our assessment through the Preliminary Application for Financial Assistance and the Parents' Financial Statement from School and Student Service for Financial Aid will give us a better grasp of their needs and will be made available to them in the application process.

  • How to Apply

    Apply via the online Griffin Bridges Application, and contact The Griffin Bridges Office, by phone at 973.325.PREP, ext. 6784 or by email at:

    Students should contact the Office of Admission, submit their Seton Hall Prep application, and set a date for the Entrance/Placement Test. (Please schedule your test for the November or first December test). Upon acceptance to the school, qualifying applicants will be interviewed in December to determine their acceptance into the Program.

Griffin Bridges Celebrates Twenty Years of Success

Griffin Bridges Celebrates 20 Years of Success from Griffin Bridges on Vimeo.

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SETON HALL Preparatory School

120 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052     |     Main Phone:  973.325.PREP [7737]

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Seton Hall Prep is accredited by both Middles States and the National Catholic Educational Association.

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