On Thursday, March 17, I attended a great local event- Vines and Vision a fundraiser for Bridgethe Gap winesasa.jpgCollege Prep in Marin City, CA. In 1995, Pastor Fred Small had a vision to support the education of the youth in his congregation through a mentoring/tutoring program. ?He reached out to his friend Bob Hunter to help and in turn, Bob asked Deni Brusseau to join them in their efforts to develop a community-based tutoring program with a strong focus on mentorship for Marin City youth.

?Education can change lives and change a community.?

? Bridge the Gap’s Mission

With the belief that ?education can change lives and change a community?, the program began with six students and six Mentor-Tutors has grown into a robust after-school program for 1st through 12th grade students with two distinct program focus areas:

  • An intensive college prep program for 4th through 12th graders
  • An evening reading program for 1st through 3rd graders

Since it?s founding in 1995, enrollment has grown and today, Bridge the Gap serves nearly 130 students, or 40% of Marin City youth.

There were many impressive elements to the event. The short film by Tylor Norwood documenting the impact of Bridge the Gap on these communitie?s development left me and my husband in tears. ?We found that these children have a place where a mentor can take provide guidance, care and a feeling of home where it may be lacking. Not to mention feed, sometime provide essentials and in some cases a home and family to live with.

The lively silent auction brought in approx. $250K (is this the right amount?) from generous donors. Some received prizes in exchange for their funds and some gave funds to ensure the success of future generations through this program.

What’s even more inspiring is that the program is working: 100% of their high school seniors are graduating and attending college in 2016.

So honored to be a part of this and partake in the organization?s success. I’m looking forward to becoming a tutor in the near future.