Family is Link To Our Past, Bridge To Our Future


Ruthie is a lifelong and voracious reader and she hoped to instill this love of the written word in her three granddaughters.

She had recently become their guardian and wanted to make sure they were getting all the academic advantages they could.

Ruthie learned about BRIDGES from a neighbor and after meeting the staff at Pahokee, she knew that she had to be involved with the organization.  In addition to being a safe place where she could bring her granddaughters to learn and grow, Ruthie also felt that BRIDGES would help her re-transition to motherhood.

Gloria, Ruthie’s spunky five-year-old granddaughter, was enrolled in BRIDGES Brightest – a kindergarten readiness program headed by a child development specialist – and every week, Gloria meets with the Brightest group to complete homework assignments together.

Once Ruthie learned about the Triple P Program at BRIDGES, she signed herself up right away and now, uses stickers and a poster to encourage her granddaughter’s positive behavior and the initiative has been so successful that BRIDGES displayed the poster in their offices to show parents an easy and effective way to reward good behavior.

In addition to taking as many classes and programs as she can, Ruthie has also become an advocate on behalf of the organization. She recruits family members and friends to join the organization and often offers to provide transportation to the location. In addition to this, Ruthie has taken on a mentoring role and offers advice to newcomers with questions.

She even spear-headed a resident-led planning committee on National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, spending her Saturdays at BRIDGES and attending training sessions so she could facilitate small groups in discussion about the topic.

Tears sparkle in her eyes when Ruthie talks about BRIDGES and how she doesn’t know where she would be without BRIDGES’ positive impact on her life.

She raves about her granddaughters – 10-year-old Catalina is now reading more than ever, Gloria is ready for kindergarten and three-year-old Maribel is attending a childcare center and is learning something new every day.

Thanks to BRIDGES, Ruthie feels safe, supported and better equipped as a parent. It’s this outpouring of support that has inspired Ruthie to give back to the community and ensure that other families will also become a part of the BRIDGES family.