For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Luisa Whipple
(727) 461-2990, Ext. 3267
Project Bridge participant (Dyllan Wilson) provided tools through a
Success Award for technical school mechanic training
One Decade, 10,000 Lives Changed: Project Bridge Helps Young People Achieve Success
Project Bridge provides educational, mentoring, vocational and transportation services
to help young people achieve stable and successful lives
(Clearwater, FL – October 4, 2022) – Celebrating its 10th year, Eckerd Connects’ Project Bridge was developed in partnership with the State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice to help our young people achieve successful lives while avoiding re-entry into the criminal justice system. Through an innovative collaboration of organizations, our youth have the tools to move past barriers and develop skills attractive to employers.
Project Bridge provides services to boys and girls ages 11-21 reintegrating into their home communities from juvenile justice residential programs. Launched in 2013, Project Bridge has an 86 percent success rate of youth not reoffending within 12 months of program completion. This success and vision for a brighter future are achieved through a framework of services that includes community partners and mentors for our youth.
“It can be hard for young people to find employment opportunities that offer a pathway to job security and financial stability, changing their life trajectory. The mentors working with our youth go above and beyond. They provide wraparound services to clients in need of food, clothing, court support and much more for our clients to overcome barriers to their success,” said Rebecca Bryan, Community Engagement Supervisor.
Eckerd Connects’ Project Bridge provides leadership, entrepreneurship, and educational classes, coaching and financial stipends to work in concert with the mentors. Project Bridge has served 10,401 youth in the almost ten years since it began. Through these programs, older youth go on to complete high school, obtain their GED, attend technical school and even college.
About Eckerd Connects
Eckerd Connects was founded in 1968 by Jack and Ruth Eckerd with the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed. The national nonprofit organization has connected about 316,000 people to the help they need through programs in job corps, workforce development, juvenile justice, and family & children services. To learn more please visit www.eckerd.org.