BRIDGES lands $50,000 grant from national organization

Posted by michael on May 12, 2015

By Sara K. Clarke May 11, 2015 Memphis non-profit Bridges has received a $50,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation, Inc. of New York. Bridges serves more than 5,000 students each year through programs that aim to develop diverse leaders in grades 7-12 who are committed to community transformation. “To be the recipient of this grant is historic for our organization,” said Cynthia Ham, president and CEO of Bridges. “Recognition of this type from such a well respected national foundation is greatly appreciated and it furthers our ability to continue the transformative work we are doing everyday to build youth leaders for the Greater Memphis community.”

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Students Work to Change School to Prison Pipeline

Posted by michael on Mar 18, 2015

(Memphis – Commercial Appeal) — Students in Memphis said young people going from high school to jail is too often the reality in their neighborhoods. On Tuesday, more than one dozen students at BRIDGES discussed putting together a plan to keep kids out of prison. “They identified this as an issue in their community that they want to address,” Mahal Burr, the BRIDGES community action coordinator, said. Organizers call it the school to prison pipeline. “Instead of pulling our students into the educational system, it is pushing them out into the prison system,” Montez Reed said. Mid-South students worked to figure out how to create change and stop the cycle

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Bridge Builders Spend Spring Break With Service

Posted by michael on Mar 16, 2015

(Memphis – Commercial Appeal) — Pat Lowe doesn’t browse the Internet, and she doesn’t want to. No Facebook. No Twitter. But, “I know how to do Skype,” she said. The 84-year-old was surrounded by teenagers from the Bridge Builders youth leadership program on Saturday morning around a table at The Parkview senior apartments. Betelehem Challa, 18; Bezawit Challa, 18; Lee Butler, 14; Greg Nelson, 13; and Wade Copley, 15, were there to help her troubleshoot her laptop, and Lowe shared decades of life wisdom. Students from BRIDGES are having a spring break of service. Projects include days of mentoring, world history, cleaning up McKellar Lake and cooking at St. Vincent

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Youth Offer Suggestions For Juvenile Justice

Posted by michael on Mar 01, 2015

(Memphis – Commercial Appeal) — Participants in a youth-led conference on juvenile justice Saturday at LeMoyne-Owen College wrote down solutions for conflict in schools on yellow post-it notes. Among the suggestions was mental health support, counseling, therapy and peer mediation in schools. One note contained a suggestion of a “peace pass” as “a way to exit a space when you feel like you are too angry to be there.” “Suspending them is not helping it, it’s just making them more violent,” read another. “They should have a counseling class after school for them, like a 30-minute session.” At the workshop focusing on peer-mediation — part of the event presented by

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Local Youth Present Ideas for Change at Youth Ignite Memphis Event

Posted by michael on Feb 17, 2015

Nine students representing various segments of the Greater Memphis community came together today at the Youth Ignite Memphis event hosted by BRIDGES to present their ideas on how to create real change in the Memphis community. The students were given a total of five minutes each to present their ideas to a crowd of more than 200 youth and adults.  The three presentations that received the most votes from the youth attendees received $200 to kick-start their youth initiative. “We were so pleased with the level of thought and creativity that was put into the presentations by these students,” said Cynthia Ham president and CEO of BRIDGES. “All of them

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BRIDGES Announces New Board of Trustees Members

Posted by michael on Jan 27, 2015

BRIDGES is pleased to announce the names of six new members joining its Board of Trustees. John Aitken is the superintendent of Collierville Schools and the former superintendent of Shelby County Schools. Nancy Averwater is the chief executive officer of Baptist Trinity Hospice. William Derwin is the president of The Terminix International Company Limited Partnership of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. and The ServiceMaster Company. Dan Hatzenbuehler is the chairman of the board for E. Ritter & Company, a fifth generation Arkansas family business that provides agricultural and telecommunications services. Thomas L. Williams is senior resident director of Merrill Lynch Memphis and also a senior vice president of investments. Kevin Woods is the executive director for Workforce

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BRIDGES To Receive “Be The Dream” Youth Leadership Award “Be the Dream” Weekend Celebrates Legacy of Dr. King and Memphis Civil Rights Pioneers, Promotes Youth Empowerment and Community Service 

Posted by michael on Jan 15, 2015

The Second Annual BE THE DREAM MLK Weekend, which coincides with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 19, will include the MLK Commemorative Celebration, 2015 BE THE DREAM MLK Legacy Awards, Youth Empowerment Symposium and various service projects across the city.     The City of Memphis played a pivotal role in the American Civil Rights movement, and BE THE DREAM weekend events celebrate the legacy of Dr. King and reflect what we’ve accomplished and the work that remains for us to achieve genuine equality and social justice in our city and nation.    “Be the Dream honors the enduring legacy of Dr. King, whose life and death

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BRIDGES Announces $75,000 Gift From ServiceMaster

Posted by michael on Jan 08, 2015

The management of BRIDGES is pleased to announce a $75,000 gift from ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services. The donation was given on behalf of ServiceMaster employees to one of the most dynamic community groups in Memphis and the Mid-South.    “We are ecstatic about ServiceMaster’s support,” said Cynthia Ham, president and CEO of BRIDGES. “This is a substantial investment in the future of Memphis and the company’s commitment to fostering connections in diverse groups and developing young leaders in the community is in lock-step with the core principles of BRIDGES.”    The gift will support the BRIDGES annual fund, student

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Kroger Supports BRIDGES With $50,000 Donation

Posted by michael on Oct 08, 2014

Earlier today, the Kroger Delta Division announced a three-year partnership with BRIDGES which includes a $50,000 donation to help promote youth leadership. Kroger selected BRIDGES because of the similarities in both organizations’ core standards which include leadership, diversity appreciation and civic engagement. The partnership will allow synergy between the two organizations to help provide a platform for Memphis area youth. “We are very appreciative of Kroger’s generosity,” said Cynthia Ham, president and CEO, BRIDGES. “This is a great opportunity to work with Kroger to help our youth reach across socio-economic divides and build relationships to create a stronger more harmonious Memphis.”  “This is not just a donation,” said Tim Brown, president, Kroger Delta

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Program Works to Grow Future Leaders

Posted by michael on Apr 10, 2014

(Memphis – WREG) The Bridge Builders Change program unites diverse young people from across Shelby County committed to making their communities better. The program brings together young people who have proven leadership skills and teaches them how to be effective leaders and how to make positive changes in the community.  “Being a leader is more than just being the main man on campus or the person who is taking charge of everything. It’s about hard work and dedication and learning from your mistakes,” said Paris Byrd. The senior at Central High School is passionate about students having a voice, and  found “her” voice in the last three years at Bridges, “You’re never

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