By providing students with a place where they fell safe, loved, and valued, it is our hope that they will also find a community. This community that the students are a part of making, connects them with each other and to each volunteer that walks through our doors. It is our vision that these relationships that they create and the skills they learn here, will help them become contributing members of our community that understand the importance of giving back.
LEVELS OF CONNECTION
We have created programs that establish relationships on three different levels of connection, in order to create our community and fulfill our mission. With our vision in mind, these programs have established relationships between students and between the volunteers.
The first level of connection builds community. These programs focus on building relationships with and among students on a program wide level.
The second level of connection establishes smaller group relationships. These programs focus on smaller groups of students and volunteers.
Our third level connections are the one-on-one relationships. The programs that focus on these connections provide space for our volunteers and students who want to create deep relationships.
Programs that focus on community building often occur in larger group settings. Drop-In, our Tuesday and Thursday program, involves games, time in the gym, and overall free time for our students. Students and Volunteers are able to build connections with a variety of people, spending time casually with each other. We also offer our Skills for Life trips. These trips introduce students to the opportunities that are in our community after they graduate from high school. Both of these programs aim at introducing students to the community that is around them. We also offer summer programming, both on site and off site. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we offer Drop-In, and on Wednesdays we do off site trips. These trips include Binder Park, Rosy Mound, and even a three day camp.
Smaller group setting allow our students and volunteers to build on their connections and develop a deeper understanding. They focus on building a smaller community that focuses on growing together and starting to understand their role in our community. Bridge to Excellence puts a small group of students with a mentor to work on homework while also developing a trusting relationship. This Monday, Wednesday, Friday program works to start creating deep bonds. We also offer our Wednesday youth group, It's Amazing, where students are encouraged to develop a deeper understanding of their faith within a smaller group setting. Once a month, we also take part in a service project. Bridging Out allows our students to begin to understand their role in the community while also giving back to the people who make our programs possible.
Our one-on-one relationships are for those who are looking for a deeper way to connect volunteers with students. These opportunities present themselves in the for of Bridge to Excellence, but also through our behind the scenes programs. In-school mentoring allows volunteers to go in to the schools in our community to eat lunch and mentor students one-on-one. This is an opportunity that many don't know about, but is available to all. We also have a Suspending Bridges program where suspended students can come to us during their normal school hours and get caught up on what they are missing. This program also provides our students with an opportunity to give back to the community and find the additional support they may need.