Founding & Evolution
Bridges was founded in 1993 as a four-week summer enrichment program on the campus of The St. Paul’s Schools in Baltimore County, MD. It initially served 18 elementary school students from a Title I School in northeast Baltimore City. Students were supported by a paid seasonal staff and a handful of high school-aged volunteers from St. Paul’s. Bridges has expanded significantly since that time.
Today, the three Bridges program locations – Bridges at The St. Paul’s Schools, Bridges at Gilman, and Bridges at Bryn Mawr – work year-round with 330 Baltimore City youth ages 9-23 and engage 227 independent school student volunteers per year. The Bridges program model has evolved to support students for 13 years, beginning from 4th grade on through college and into the start of students’ careers.
How We Operate
Bridges Baltimore is an independent 501c3 committed to sustaining and growing Bridges’ impact in Baltimore. It supports existing program locations, identifies and helps to launch new program locations, enhances the program model, raises funds for all of Bridges programs and activities, identifies candidates for staff openings, provides technical assistance to program locations, recruits students for program locations, and manages marketing and communications functions.
Bridges at The St. Paul’s Schools (est. 1993), Bridges at Gilman School (est. 2014), and Bridges at The Bryn Mawr School (est. 2022) operate as programs of their respective school communities. The St. Paul’s Schools, Gilman School, and The Bryn Mawr School are responsible for operations pertaining to their program locations, including facilities, technology, volunteer recruitment, and more. Each school also makes an annual gift to Bridges Baltimore.
The Need & Our Approach
Investing in the Success of Baltimore City Youth from Title I Elementary Schools
The Need: Children in Baltimore’s Title I Elementary Schools live in communities of limited access and opportunity, creating obstacles to long-term academic achievement and career pathways with financial security. The barriers make stepping stones to careers with financial security, like a college degree, incredibly rare. Historically, 90%+ of students in Baltimore’s public schools do not attain a degree by age 24.
Our Approach: Bridges partners with students age 9 to age 23 and their families. The effort is designed to help students find consistent academic success from elementary through high school, graduate from high school and college, and find fulfilling career paths that lead to financial security.
Building a More Inclusive and Equitable Society
The Need: The Baltimore metro-area remains geographically segregated along lines of race and socio-economics, creating a barrier to relationship building, and limiting understanding and progress on long standing issues of unequal access and opportunity in the City.
Our Approach: Bridges creates a space for independent school students of all backgrounds to build caring relationships with Baltimore City School students, learn about issues of unequal access and opportunity in Baltimore, and be part of building a more inclusive and equitable society.
Expanding our Impact
Over the last 10 years, Bridges has
Looking ahead, Bridges will
Strategic Partners & Supporters
Bridges has three types of strategic partners. Strategic partners both enhance programs and operations and provide in-kind resources that keep Bridges cost-effective and cost-efficient.
University Partners: Loyola University has become an increasingly larger partner over the last few years, providing about 50 tutors a year and summer facilities for our high school program.
YouthWorks, Art with a Heart, The Baer School, the Downtown Sailing Center, and Keswick Multicare provide jobs for Bridges high schoolers as a key part of Bridges high school summer programming.
Our 9 Feeder Elementary Schools in Northeast Baltimore help Bridges to nominate and select new students for the program yearly.
Capital Educators provides in-kind SAT prep to Bridges students.
Bridges Baltimore Board of Trustees
Ellen Bernard, Community Volunteer
Flynn Burch, Under Armour – Director of Global Philanthropy
Vickie Cosby, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield – S.V.P. Medicaid and Medicare Programs
Scott David, T. Rowe Price Associates – Former Head of U.S. Investment Services
Nnamdi Etoh, Rock Springs Capital – CFO
Doug Greenstein, T. Rowe Price Associates – Head of Institutional Business Development
Carim Khouzami, BGE – CEO
Josh Levinson, Charm City Run – Owner
Paul F. McBride, Black & Decker – Former Corporate Officer
Mark Neumann, 510 Ventures, LLC (Current Chair)
Rob Paymer, Bridges – Executive Director, Bridges (Staff)
Phil Pine, Capital Educators – Program Director
Dr. Bryan D. Powell, St. Paul’s Pre and Lower School – Head of School
Lynn Rauch, Community Volunteer (Founding Chair)
Roger Schulman, Fund for Educational Excellence – President & CEO
Jim Smith, RBC Wealth Management – Sr. Vice President (Former Chair)
Henry Smyth, Gilman School – Headmaster