Why We Exist
We believe that building human capacity begins with human-to-human relationships; and that social change results from transforming relationships.
We believe that it is through meaningful relationships that we have the ability to influence systems, and build human capacity that leads to positive change. These human-to-human relationships in essence become our leverage points for change. It is in relationship that we can role model, build confidence, provide guidance, increase meaning & purpose, offer helpful feedback to course correct, connect to opportunities, and navigate barriers all with the intention of unveiling someone’s potential; this potential is the root of possibility for positive change.
According to Researcher Martin Smith, “…Trusting and supportive relationships are at the heart of the intentional change process…Our relationships offer context for understanding our progress in our learning and change efforts and for realizing the usefulness of what we are learning.” – Melvin L. Smith. 2006. [“Social capital and intentional change.” Journal of Management Development, 25(7), pp.718-731]
Despite offerings of educational, training, or leadership programs, many youth in Calgary are struggling to create meaningful futures for themselves and their communities. We’ve experienced programming struggles with low turn-outs, unreliable attendance for the course of the program, and minimal changes for the participants post-program. Bridges has come to realize that existing programs encounter challenges with engagement of youth, and follow through by youth participants in pursuing their goals for creating meaningful futures. We think that something needs to be done differently, and that looks like innovative bridging work. Our work uses a relationship-building approach that strengthens the investment of partner organizations in youth & young adults, as well the outcomes for youth as they navigate their individual futures.