Bridge Way: Philly’s First Recovery High School

Rebecca Bonner watched her daughter’s pants size go from an 8 to a 2 within seven to eight weeks. Her daughter struggled with a substance use disorder, and was eventually admitted into rehab for five months during her freshman year of high school. She returned to school her sophomore year, but relapsed in ten months. Bonner said that it was difficult for her daughter to maintain sobriety in her high school because of the pressures and peers that surrounded her.

In 2001, Bonner opened the Bridge Way school, a recovery school for high school students in the Philadelphia area. In addition to utilizing 12-step principles for students, Bridge Way also provides a challenging academic program for students in grades 9-12.

“Recovery schools are so important,” said Bonner.

Bridge Way currently enrolls 10-12 Pennsylvanian students each year. According to Bonner, 92% of their students go to college, and 86% of them maintain abstinence during the school year. At Bridge Way, students are able to recover and academically succeed in a supportive and rigorous community.

About the author

Marianna Sann

Marianna Sann is a junior studying journalism at Temple University. Her passion for sharing experiences of people with real-life situations and untold stories, has led her to pursue a career in documentary storytelling. She co-hosted Temple Pulse, a radio show part of Temple’s student run radio station, WHIP. Contact Marianna at

Add comment