Bridges to Independence has received a $20,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation to support the continuation of its Youth Development Program.

The Youth Development Program focuses on providing opportunities to low-income high school students in Arlington by improving students’ success getting into college through mentoring with community leaders, internships with local businesses, and tutoring to improve academic performance.

The funding will help Bridges to Independence move mentoring, tutoring, and the internships to virtual platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In these uncertain times, with virtual classes and social distancing, our youth are craving interaction and are requesting to meet with their tutors and mentors up to three times a week, instead of once a week. The funding from AT&T will help us navigate a virtual path and revise our program,” said Bridges Chief Executive Officer Sam Kelly.

Garrett McGuire, regional director for AT&T in Virginia, said, “We’re excited to help Bridges to Independence work with young people in Arlington who face significant challenges as they prepare for life after high school. As students move to online and digital engagement, our contribution will help students improve academic performance, develop leadership skills, and explore college and career opportunities."

The Youth Development Program is offered to families who have received services and case management through Bridges’ shelter and housing programming. The program creates a place for youth to take on leadership roles, learn appropriate self-expression, build and maintain positive relationships, receive mentorship, and learn skills for post-high-school success. 

Bridges to Independence is a 501c3 nonprofit based in Arlington whose mission is to lead individuals and families out of homelessness and into stable, independent futures.

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