Contact us directly if you have a specific question about giving to Bridges.
How does Bridges ensure quality?
We work closely with our partners at each stage of the employment process to set goals and ensure we are meeting expectations. We request and collect feedback from the youth we serve and the employers who hire them. Using a state-of-the-art data management system, we monitor progress toward goals, compare performance year over year, and submit reports to stakeholders. Bridges has been the subject of five peer-reviewed journal articles that demonstrate the program’s adherence to evidence-based practices for connecting youth with disabilities to employment.
Is my gift tax deductible?
Yes! As a 501(c)(3) organization, your gift is tax deductible. Please contact us directly if you have any questions about tax deductions.
How much of my gift goes towards direct support?
Your donation goes towards providing direct services to our youth—and you can even specify the city where it’s used. Your gift will fund activities, such as career counseling, résumé building, skills trainings, and job retention support. Contact us to learn more or read how GuideStar rates the Bridges from School to Work program.
How old are Bridges youth?
Our program serves youth between the ages of 17-24 years old. Most enroll in their last year of high school and get part-time jobs that don’t interfere with academics. Out-of-school youth can and do work full-time if they choose.
How do you decide who receives services?
We work with schools and local organizations to identify promising youth with disabilities who are able to work independently. In addition, we seek youth who are reliable, have a positive attitude, and motivated to do well. Bridges helps students through the application process and all program phases.
What types of disabilities are included in the Bridges program?
We serve youth with a range of disabilities, learning and intellectual disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, speech or language disorders, and mobility or sensory impairments. Youth who enroll must have documentation of a disability, such as an IEP or 504 Plan, to qualify for services.
What kind of jobs do most students receive?
We work with many different companies, including national corporations and local small businesses. Some of our participants work in, hospitals, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, warehouses, and distribution centers. We seek to match youth with jobs that fit their skills and interests.
Do youth earn money?
Yes. We believe the best way to learn about work is through a real job. Unless they work in a tipped position, all youth get jobs earning at least the minimum wage. With your support, young adults grow in self-esteem and increase their self-sufficiency.
How long does the program last?
Bridges staff monitor youth for up to one year after they are hired.
Does it cost anything to participate in Bridges?
No. Our program is free to the youth who enroll. Bridges operates with fee-for-service contracts with school districts, vocational rehabilitation programs, and human services agencies. Support from individual donors and grants from corporations and foundations also comprise essential sources of funding for the work we do with youth across the U.S.