top of page
scholars at harvard.jpg


Disrupting the school to prison pipeline

*Photo provided by Harvard Gazette


The bridge



The Bridge to Brilliance is a non-profit 501(3)c organization created in 2020 by Dr. Nadia Lopez and Monique Achu. After the success of opening Mott Hall Bridges Academy in 2010, an internationally recognized middle school in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the pair have always been dedicated to creating experiences that allow children from marginalized communities to see a world beyond the limitations of their neighborhood. Through innovative programming, culturally relevant curriculum centered in self-awareness, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and STEM they have been committed to disrupting the school to prison pipeline. 


meet the team


DR. Nadia Lopez

Executive director

As an educator, Dr. Nadia Lopez is pioneering a path of inspired leadership to show the world how under-privileged communities can beat the odds and create positive institutions that have a global impact. As the founding Principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a New York City Public School, Nadia’s story became a viral sensation as millions of people around the world.

Monique Achu

director of programs & operations

Monique has over 10 years of experience in program management, operations, and youth development. She most recently served as the Founding Manager of Operations at Brave Enterprises and was the founding Director of Programs for Mott Hall Bridges Academy where she developed and executed innovative programming and events. 

OUR programs


Mind Your Business (MYB) is a year-long school-based entrepreneurship program for secondary students intended to teach youth about business ownership, financial literacy, and career exploration.


The I Matter Initiative.

In our communities we are confronted daily with a myriad of challenges that impede the promise of a better tomorrow for our men of color. The goal of I MATTER is to create much needed discussions and connections that are open, honest and inspiring for the purpose of educating young men of color about perseverance and resilience--overcoming obstacles of daily life.


HairFest began as a hair tutorial activation on a Saturday in a school, before it became a festival and program. It is an intervention tool created to address negative behaviors such as bullying, fighting, and low self-esteem amongst the girls that resulted from issues with their body image that primarily stemmed from their hair. 


A match program for  professionals and schools intended to expand the horizons of young people by introducing them to individuals from various industries who can share inside knowledge of their work and expose them to career experience they may not have access to within their homes and communities.

bottom of page