Friday, May 08, 2009

Bridges Receives National and Local Awards

On Thursday, April 16, Bridges to a Brighter Future was awarded the Summer Excellence Award by Johns Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning! This highly competitive national award recognizes outstanding summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting positive development for young people. The Excellence in Summer Learning Award seeks to find and draw national attention to exemplary programs which provide and expand access to high-quality summer learning experiences for all young people. Eighty programs across the country applied for the prestigious award.
“Bridges to a Brighter Future stands out as an exemplary summer learning program, especially for teenagers,” says Ron Fairchild, executive director of the National Center for Summer Learning. “The program builds academic success, self-confidence, leadership, resiliency and life skills. It tries to meet individual student needs and creates a culture of high expectations. This program is a perfect example of the kind of educational innovation that closes the achievement gap.”

Click here to read the special winner's bulletin.

Pictured are Bridges director, Tobi Swartz, and Bridges graduate, Casey Crisp holding the Summer Excellence Award at the National Summer Learning Conference in Chicago, Illinois.


At the Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner held on Tuesday, May 5, Bridges to a Brighter Future was awarded for their outstanding achievement in promoting diversity in the Upstate. The program received the Diversity Leadership Award as an Outstanding Non-Profit organization. Bridges works very hard to develop diversity understanding within the students and promote diversity within the program. Bridges creates young diversity leaders who influence their peers and change the world! Click on links for articles about the award:

Greenville News

GSA Business

Pictured from left to right: Harvey Choplin (Summer Academic Coordinator), Linda Cook (Program Assistant), Chris Cunningham (Student), Tobi Swartz (Director), Karina Rodriguez (Student), Jarrod Hall (Student), Bashia Gandy (Student), and Aleen Sepulveda (Student).

The Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards are presented by The Riley Institute at Furman University.


Friends, supporters, and partners united together to nominate Bridges to a Brighter Future for the Giving Back Award, sponsored by G-The Magazine of Greenville and The Community Foundation of Greenville! Of all of the non-profits and individuals nominated, G received the largest number of nominations for Bridges to a Brighter Future! Therefore, on April 23, Bridges was awarded the Reader's Choice Award at the Giving Back Awards Gala.

Thank you to all of our wonderful friends, supporters, and partners for nominating us for this award! We are so thankful for you!

Pictured at the Giving Back Awards Gala from left to right: Dr. Brad Bechtold (Director of Continuing Education), Tobi Swartz (Bridges Director), Bobby Black (Bridges Teacher), and Linda Cook (Program Assistant)

See a clip of the special award presentation to Bridges to a Brighter Future: