While in Norman, I stopped by a new member of our mentoring network--Bridges, "Empowering students who live alone to succeed." Reading on the website or about an organization is never quite the same as visiting. With Debra Krittenbrink, executive director, out of the office, Jen Anderson spoke passionately about Bridges and its students and gave me a tour. Her description clarifying the range of clients and some of the services is at the bottom. Of course, view the website.
One of the quadruplexes for students. Each apartment has a bedroom, kitchen/eating area and bath.
Inside the community building/room were senior portraits of graduates and above them the lettering painted on the wall. This is a terrific idea!
Rotary built a two-story building that houses the large "family" or community room pictured below, the offices, a computer room, a kitchen where they can cook together, and a laundry room. Although students can cook in their apartments, they enjoy (and need) family time.
Jen mentioned the digital or technical divide that children living alone have, e.g., many assignments must now be done on computers and emailed directly to the teachers. Work and library hours are not always compatible so the inhouse computer room is essential.
Once a year for the past two years, alumni come back to share stories, encourage youth at Bridges, and celebrate their bonds and achievements.
Jennifer Anderson, MSW
Director of Social Services
1670 North Stubbeman
Norman, OK 73069