Monday, April 23, 2007

Leadership Team Retreat

The Bridges to a Brighter Future leadership team was elected by their peers on at Saturday College on March 19. Being elected to leadership team is quite an honor! The election process includes a nomination process and voting. Every student in the Iota class was nominated, a testimony to the depth of leadership ability among all of the Bridges students.

However, for the past two years, five students exhibited leadership skills above the norm. These young people possess outstanding character traits and treat their peers with compassion, dignity, and respect. The five students voted to the leadership team were Daphnie Glenn, Luis Gonzales, Victor Orozco, Rosa Rivera, and Neizel Songalia.

The Leadership Team after being elected on March 19.
L to R: Neizel Songalia, Luis Gonzales, Daphnie Glenn,
Victor Orozco, and Rosa Rivera

To further develop individual leadership skills and unity among the team members, the leadership team went on an overnight retreat during spring break to the Camp at Pinnacle Falls, a youth retreat camp developed by the Cliffs Communities, Inc.
The goals of the leadership retreat were to:
  • Develop leadership skills;
  • Understand personal strengths and weaknesses;
  • Increase trust within the leadership team;
  • Define the role of the leadership team; and
  • Learn how to support each other and Bridges staff.

In order to meet these goals, the students participated in two days of group activities and challenges. The camp provided a beautiful landscape upon which to reflect, far away from the city atmosphere and free of cell phones! The leadership team had a lot of fun and learned a great deal about each other and themselves. Here are some pictures from the retreat:

Carrying the leader up the trail in the blanket.
Understanding how to support leadership.

Trust walk up the pinnacle falls trail.
Building trust and communication.

Write your name
Listening, teamwork, communication, and reaction under stress.

Leadership team enjoying Pinnacle Falls!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bridges Graduates Doing GREAT Things!

There are so many Bridges graduates following the mantra they heard everyday of Bridges, "Go forth and do good things," that it is difficult to keep up with them all! Here are a few recent graduates we have connected with.

Katie Nicholas, a 2004 graduate of Bridges and 2005 graduate of Riverside High School is making her mark at the College of Charleston. As a Sophomore, she has declared her major in Biology with a special concentration in Molecular Biology. She has joined Alpha Chi Sigma, a co-ed Chemistry fraternity. She rounds off her academic work by volunteering weekly at MUSC in Neurology/Neurosurgery. Her duties include manning the nurses station, talking with patients, and passing out magazines/books. With all of this, it is hard to imagine that Katie has time for anything else. However, she is also very involved in Campus Outreach. Her plan is to go to medical school, but as she states, "that may change." Katie's future after college may yet to be determined. Regardless, we are very proud of her success at the College of Charleston!
Two students also doing great things are Shawn Sarsour and Johnathan Stephens. Shawn and Johnathan met at Bridges and continue their friendship long distance as Johnathan attends Azusa Pacific University, located in Azusa, California (near Los Angeles) and Shawn attends Clemson University. I met them for lunch over the holidays in December and learned that they are both succeeding in their first year of college. Shawn is an Engineering major and is doing great in a rigorous curriculum. He lives in a residence hall with other Engineering majors and spends most of his time in the library. Johnathan is a Psychology major and is spending a lot of time in the gym as he is going to play football as a "walk-on" this fall. Both are challenging themselves in college and excelling! We are proud of them!

Bridges Experience

Bridges Experience

It's not the endless love,
Between complete strangers.
It's not the continuous smiles,
That are completely contagious.
And it's not just the talks,
Where no one is judged.
It's the immediate bond,
That can't collapse.

Here I am safe,
Here I am welcomed.
Judgement is unknown here,
And friends we all are.

A poem written by Bridges student Ashlee Ware.
Ashlee is a student at Hillcrest High School