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, Bridges is a 13-year program that works year-round with 300+ Baltimore City youth ages 9-23 and engages 185+ independent school student volunteers at its two host sites (Bridges at The St. Paul’s Schools and Bridges at Gilman School).

The Need & Our Approach

Bridges works to address two needs in the Baltimore metro-area – the first need pertains to investing in the full success of the Baltimore City youth who participate in Bridges and the second need pertains to building a more inclusive and equitable society.

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 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

Strategic Partners

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

Independent Schools: The St. Paul’s Schools and Gilman School provide a range of in-kind support, including fiscal sponsorship, year-round program facilities / office space, volunteers, and administrative / fundraising services. They also make financial investments in Bridges.

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.

Local Employers: Our high school summer jobs program is dependent on partnerships with Youth Works and 15+ companies providing 50+ summer jobs. Capital Educators provides in-kind SAT prep to Bridges students.


Bridges has 140+ supporters consisting of individuals, foundations, and corporations. These supporters under-write Bridges’ $ 1.3mm+ annual program and operations budget. Annual donations range from $10 to $150,000 per year, with an average contribution of $10,000.


Bridges Advisory Board

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

Scott Marimow, Providence Equity – Managing Partner

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

Bridges Staff

Chloe Baier

Deputy Director
Chloe manages communications & marketing, partner stewardship, and grant writing, as well as supporting operations at Bridges.

Eddie Bennett

Office Manager
Eddie coordinates major administrative needs including the calendar, transportation, purchasing, and office space management.

Victoria Brown

Student Support Specialist
Victoria has responsibilities across the Bridges system, including 1-on-1 support and school guidance for 5th and 8th grade students.

Ysem Brown

Elementary/Middle School Director, Bridges at the St. Paul’s Schools
Ysem manages programmatic supports for our elementary and middle-aged students at the St. Paul’s site.

Brittany Clapp

High School Associate, Bridges at the St. Paul’s Schools
Brittany manages programmatic supports for high school-aged Bridges students at the St. Paul’s site.

Kevin Eskridge

Senior Operations Director
Kevin is responsible for supporting Rob in overseeing operations at Bridges, securing funding, launching new initiatives, and expanding to new sites.

Matt Frank

Elementary/Middle School Associate, Bridges at the St. Paul’s Schools
Matt supports Ysem with programming for elementary and middle-aged students, as well as volunteers from the St. Paul’s Schools.

Ashley Humbert

Director of Talent, Learning, Collaboration
Ashley manages Bridges’ hiring & onboarding processes, professional development of staff, and collaboration across sites.

Jonathan Lindsay

Elementary/Middle School Senior Director
Jonathan oversees all of Bridges’ programs for its 200+ elementary and middle school-aged students.

David Menard

Site Director and Elementary/Middle Director, Bridges at Gilman School
Dave oversees all of Bridges at Gilman’s programs for its 80+ students and 60+ independent school volunteers.

Sydney Michener

High School Associate, Bridges at Gilman School
Sydney manages programmatic supports for high school-aged Bridges students at the Gilman site.

Briana O’Neal

College and Career Director
Briana plans, manages, and oversees all of Bridges’ programs and 1-on-1 support for its 50+ college students.

Rob Paymer

Executive Director and Site Director, Bridges at the St. Paul’s Schools
Rob’s responsibilities include staff management, organizational improvement, fundraising, partnership development, and expansion.

Annelise Royles

Elementary/Middle School Associate, Bridges at Gilman School
Annelise supports Dave with programming for elementary and middle-aged students, as well as volunteers from the Gilman community.

Jenni Ruiz

Director of College and Career Counseling
Jenni is responsible for providing post-high school guidance to all of the Bridges high schoolers across sites.

Amara Sillah

High School and Post-High School Senior Director
Amara plans, manages, and oversees all of Bridges’ programs for its 100+ high school students.
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