NEW MILFORD, N.J. — A New Milford High School graduate is keeping the spirit alive of a friend killed in a gun accident who shared his dream of inspiring students to entrepreneurship.
“We really wanted to shed light and discover people who were doing what they love and create a network,” said Will Esposito, who founded Hypelite.org with the late Alex Bridge five years ago.
“I was lost and trying to find a way to connect," Esposito said. "A lot of kids don’t have a connection with people."
Bridge was with a group of friends who were horsing around with a gun behind the Dorchester Apartments in New Milford the night of Aug. 3, 2013.
Authorities said the gun accidentally went off, and the bullet struck Bridge in the abdomen.
He made it to the parking lot of a nearby housing complex on Reichelt Road before collapsing. He was taken to Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, where he died.
A year later, Esposito and some friends launched Bridging the Gap.
“We were throwing ideas out and how we wanted to redefine the American education dream,” he said. “We wanted to create a center and have a physical location to meet, work, and build a network of professionals - of those looking to help the next generation.”
Nearly 30 professionals, including Broadway star and borough native Rob McClure, along with authors, hairdressers, law enforcement officers and other professionals speak to students through the program, which is focused on "bridging passion with purpose.”
“It’s a great testament to the community that they are willing to help the students,” Esposito said.
Today, Giving Tuesday, the group is has students from the borough's middle and elementary schools collecting donated goods for the needy. High-schoolers will then help package them.
Another Bridging the Gap program will eventually be arranged before the school year is out, Esposito said.
Right now, he said, "We’re just trying to get the word out.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.