SILVER SPRING, Md. — Community Bridges empowers girls from diverse backgrounds to become exceptional students, positive leaders, and healthy young women.
Shannon Babe-Thomas is the group's Executive Director and she sat down with Allison Seymour to talk about the group and its mission.
Community Bridges believes in endless potential, strength-focused thinking and resourcefulness.
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It runs several programs creating a continuum of growth for girls from 4th to 12th grade. The group partners with schools, communities and parents to identify girls that are a good fit for their programs.
They use a positive youth development approach working on self-esteem, self and civic engagement and cultural identity.
"It’s really important that our girls and understand who they are, where they come from, and how they fit in the whole scheme of the world," she said. "We want our girls to be who they are, and to be proud of who they are. And for our girls, a lot of them are first generation and their parents have come here to seek education for their daughters.
The group helps young women achieve their goal of education with help of dedicated mentors who use a multidimensional approach and strength focused thinking.
Babe-Thomas said, "We have a women volunteers who we pair with our girls. And our mentors go through extensive screening process and training. We ask our mentors for at least a year long commitment, but for many of our mentors, they stay with us roles, so graduation and beyond."
If you can't commit to a year, the group is always looking for experts in subject matters to introduce the girls to various careers, tutors and drivers to help deliver food to the families they support.
Allison said, "I know programs like this, they you know, money doesn't just fall off trees for for all the great programs that you do. And on behalf of our family here WUSA9 and our partners at Easterns Automotive Group, we would love to be able to give you a check for $1,000 to us however you need it for these wonderful girls this holiday season.
Babe-Thomas replied, "That is amazing. Thank you so much any support is truly truly amazing and helps to make sure our girl stays are bright."
School-Based Girls Program
The Community Bridges Girls program encourages girls in 4th through 12th grades to explore their identity, self-esteem, and build their character in a safe space to develop personal responsibility and leadership using a tested, grade-integrated curriculum. The program engages girls in their schools through after-school and in-service activities, as well as field trips on weekends. In addition to our curriculum, we support our girls with tutoring, educational enrichment and one-on-one educational support. Learn more.
The Community Bridges Mentoring Program offers a multi-tiered approach for connecting positive female role models with each CB girl. Our CB Women’s Mentor Initiative recruits women from diverse backgrounds to mentor our middle school and high school girls toward achieving their goals, both academically and long term. Learn more.
In addition, the CB Big Sister, Little Sister Program enables our high school girls to mentor our middle and elementary school girls, to build strong relationships, academic success, and help younger students learn to resolve peer conflict and steer clear of at-risk behaviors.
College Access and Success Program
The Community Bridges College Access and Success Program connects CB high school girls with the tools and processes for their next steps after high school graduation, with a strong emphasis on postsecondary education. Our goal is to increase preparation, application, acceptance and enrollment in colleges and universities for our graduates. Learn more.
Supporting and empowering CB girls includes supporting and empowering their families. The Community Bridges Family Institute provides parents and guardians of CB girls with opportunities to build skills, competencies, and social capital. The Family Institute is guided by a Parental Advisory Committee composed of parents and guardians. Learn more.
The Community Bridges Alumnae Program provides graduates of the program additional support through workshops, one-on-one sessions and connections to internship and job opportunities. Learn more.
Racial Equity and Inclusion Committee (REIC)
The Community Bridges Racial, Equity and Inclusion Committee (REIC) is an education and action youth-led committee aiming to bring equity and inclusion to Montgomery County, and especially Montgomery County Public Schools.
Collaboration is vital to our holistic approach to supporting CB girls and their families. We develop strong, supportive partnerships with resource counselors and administrative staff in each school where our program is offered. We also count on community partners — including businesses, nonprofits, colleges and government agencies — to help expand our reach and deepen our impact. Learn more.
Thank you again to Easterns Automotive Group.