Bacon Street Bridges Project

The Bridges Project, established by Bacon Street Youth and Family Services, began as a desire to meet the needs of youth who might not excel in a “traditional” classroom environment and struggle as they transition from middle school to high school. It is now offered at all 3 WJCC high schools. The program includes Jumpstart, a week long wilderness/adventure summer program that introduces new mentees to their mentors and Bacon Street staff, and bi-weekly peer-to-peer mentoring during the school year. “By immersing myself into the program I’ve made strong and meaningful connections with people who are nothing like me.” said a 2022 Bridges Project participant.

Wrapping up each school year, mentors and mentees are honored and acknowledged for their efforts, perseverance, growth, and contributions to the program. Mentees are given the opportunity to “Bridge Up” and return as future mentors so they may pass along skills they have achieved to future mentees.

Because of the Bridges Project, academic achievement has increased and truancy rates have decreased. Students report feeling more closely connected to their school peers, and that the program has helped them build better relationships at home and in the community. As one participant put it: “In a positive way it’s brought me out my shell to socialize with people.”