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. This year, the four Bridges program locations – Bridges at The St. Paul’s Schools, Bridges at Gilman, Bridges at Bryn Mawr, and Bridges at McDonogh – work year-round with 474 Baltimore City youth ages 9-23 and engage 358 independent school student volunteers per year. The Bridges program model has evolved to support students for 13 years, beginning after third 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), Bridges at The Bryn Mawr School (est. 2022), and Bridges at McDonogh School (est. 2024) operate as programs of their respective school communities. Each of the schools are responsible for operations pertaining to their program locations, including facilities, technology, volunteer recruitment, and more. Each school also makes an annual financial investment in Bridges Baltimore.

The Need & Our Approach

Bridges works to address two needs in the Baltimore metro-area: (1) investing in the full success of the Baltimore City youth who participate in Bridges and (2) 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. This creates obstacles to long-term academic achievement and career pathways with financial security. Historically, 90%+ of students in Baltimore’s public schools do not attain a college degree by age 24.

Our Approach: Bridges partners with students age 9 to age 23 and their families. The program model 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 socioeconomics, 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’ program model 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:


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

Bridges Baltimore Staff

Chloe Baier

Director of Communications

Natalie Cesario

Senior Leadership Associate

Anita Hilson

Senior Director of Partnerships

Jenna Kotarides

Senior Director, High School, College & Career Programs

Jessica Kuhn

Business Manager

Rachel Lazo

Chief of Staff

Jonathan Lindsay

Senior Director, Elementary/Middle School Program

Kelsey McLaurin

College & Career Success Specialist

Rob Paymer

Executive Director

Jillian Pinkard

Senior Director of Advancement

Bridges at The St. Paul’s Schools Staff

Victoria Brown

Student Support Specialist

Ysem Brown

Site Director

Barrett Ozga

Public Service Fellow

Jenni Ruiz

Director of College and Career Counseling

Bridges at Gilman School Staff

Ghani Raines

Site Director

Annelise Royles

Associate Director, High School Program

Yena You

Public Service Fellow

Bridges at the Bryn Mawr School Staff

Julia Dimaio

Site Director

Hannah O'Malley

Public Service Fellow

Bridges at McDonogh School Staff

George Hutchins

Site Director

Supporters & Partners

Bridges has 140+ supporters consisting of individuals, foundations, and corporations that underwrite Bridges’ $3 million annual budget. We also have several key partners who enhance programs and operations and provide in-kind resources that keep Bridges cost-efficient. In turn, partnering with Bridges allows organizations and individuals to deepen their impact in Baltimore. To learn more about our supporters and partners, please visit the Supporters & Partners page.

Scroll to Top