Community Partner Spotlight: The Bridge Teen Center

tbtc3photo“Why on earth do you need a teen center in the suburbs?” This is a question we heard all too many times when sharing the vision of The Bridge Teen Center with others in the early days. It’s a big question with many eye-opening answers, but as people of faith, only one answer has always made perfect sense to us. It’s what we were called to do.

A Place Not Just to BE, But to BECOME

The Bridge Teen Center provides free holistically-designed afterschool programs and a safe weekend entertainment venue for students in 7th-12th grade. From culinary demonstrations and art programs to music lessons and “Soul Café” programs, each of The Bridge’s 350+ programs each year are designed with purpose. We believe that we’re here to provide students with a place not just to BE, but to BECOME.

tbtc2photoThe Bridge Teen Center has been built by the community, for the community. With the help of hundreds of volunteers and donors, we have reached more than 4,600 different teens from 128 Chicago area communities since we opened our doors in 2010. We have been blessed by awards and recognition at the state and national level for having some of the most successful and innovative teen programming out there. We are extremely humbled by the fact that the work we are doing is being viewed by groups all across the country as the “gold standard” for teen afterschool programming.

PacMoore’s Role

PacMoore’s role in the birth and growth of The Bridge Teen Center has been significant to say the least. It all started with Priscilla and I sitting at Bill and Susie Moore’s kitchen table sharing our crazy vision. Shortly thereafter came financial support, professional and personal guidance, ongoing prayer, and a commitment to our vision that spread company-wide. We have always felt a tremendous connection to PacMoore’s leadership team, as they don’t simply talk the talk, they walk the walk.

PacMoore blesses The Bridge with very generous monthly support and is our largest corporate contributor of all-time. Most importantly, they have invested time and company resources in pouring into the lives of the students we serve through the creation of our LeadU leadership program series. The series, organized into 6 “pods”, provides teens with insight into what it means to be a leader both personally and professionally. This innovative curriculum was developed with the assistance of a team from PacMoore, and is actively being taught to hundreds of students both at The Bridge and in local public high schools.

While many are aware of PacMoore’s global commitment through their powerful work in Africa, the work they are doing in their backyard deserves equal recognition. Mother Teresa once said, “I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?” This is the work of The Bridge Teen Center and this is also the commitment of a company that “walks the walk”. We are humbled and blessed by our deep-rooted connection to PacMoore, and we are truly honored to know they are part of The Bridge Teen Center family.

The Bridge Teen Center

 

 

 

Find out more about The Bridge Teen Center on their website. 

Rob Steinmetz Bridge Teen CenterRob Steinmetz

Co-Founder of The Bridge Teen Center

Rob leads The Bridge Teen Center’s marketing and development efforts. A graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, he has spent 20 years in the nonprofit sector with both national and community-based organizations. Prior to opening The Bridge, Rob was actively involved in the sports memorabilia industry. He remains active in that industry as a 2-time Emmy award-winning Producer and Evaluator for the reality television series A Piece of The Game.

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