"The Bridge is for everybody, and we want to create an incubator where nothing is off limits - regardless of gender, race or where individuals fall on the poverty line.”
HE&R Employee Helping to Build “Eco-Villages”
What do you get when you combine five Penn State University graduates, four Milton Hershey School (MHS) alumni, two professional football players and one Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) employee? You get a talented, driven group of young men looking to span the tide between rich and poor, between the everyday citizen and entrepreneur, between the informed and the untaught. You get the founders and creators of The Bridge.
The Bridge acquires old, large properties within inner cities and turns them into completely sustainable and self-contained “eco-villages.” These spaces contain housing, commercial and retail space, urban agriculture, entertainment, innovation and education centers and more. As their website states, “The Bridge has no bounds, only those put on by its users. The Bridge will focus on cooperation, collaboration, and community in everything it does. From the way we build, to the way we...WORK-EAT-LIVE-LEARN-PLAY.”
On November 1, 2019, The Bridge acquired the former Bishop McDevitt High School located in Harrisburg. This vacant building which harbored graffiti and broken windows will now be the inaugural “eco-village.”
Meet Corey Dupree. He’s a graduate from MHS and Penn State University and a 15-year dedicated and passionate HE&R employee. He started working at Hershey Lodge and today he is a leading Reservations Trainer. In addition to working full-time at HE&R, he is a proud father to two young children and the Chief Operations Officer at The Bridge.
Corey and his “brothers,” as he affectionately calls them, Garry Gilliam Jr., DeZwaan “Dez” Dubois, Robert Dejarnette, and Jordan Hill are the founders and force behind The Bridge. This group is changing the way infrastructures are built, building an environment of systematic empowerment and creating a cultural mindshift. As plans for the former school building were being mapped out, the group collected feedback from the community to see what they felt was lacking in the city. The Bridge cares about the people of Harrisburg and wants to provide them with all the resources needed to ensure they are self-sufficient.
As Corey told me, they’ve assembled a team akin to “The Avengers.” The team supporting The Bridge is the best of the best with each person bringing to the table an impressive resume, unique skills and intense desire to help others. He said, “The Bridge is for everybody, and we want to create an incubator where nothing is off limits - regardless of gender, race or where individuals fall on the poverty line.” Corey wants to teach his kids the importance of giving back and how they can help change the lives of others.
HE&R’s founder Milton S. Hershey had a dream about creating a community where people can work, live and play. Corey carries out Milton’s legacy through his leadership with The Bridge and his continued dedication to the HE&R reservations team.