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
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
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