It is the mission of Bridges Kinship Mentoring to help children and adolescents to achieve their greatest selves by connecting them with positive role models who can befriend, inspire encourage and guide them.
Bridges Kinship Mentoring was formed in 1995 as an initiative of the Community Presbyterian Church to provide mentoring experiences to middle school youth, as it was seen at that time that there was a gap in services for that age group. The program soon expanded to serving all school age children and youth throughout Itasca County. While offices are still housed in the Community Presbyterian Church, the program operates under its own 501c3 status and involves persons from the entire Itasca County community. Further programming has expanded to include not only Community-based mentoring (which continues to be the foundation of all we do), but also after-school programming (peer to peer mentoring), Lunch Buddies, and School based mentoring.
An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?"
The builder lifted his old gray head;
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followed after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!"
Bridges Kinship Mentoring is an affiliate to Kinship, Inc. Kinship, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization which believes in and promotes the concept of youth mentoring. The National Kinship office exists to serve as a resource for established and emerging local Kinship affiliates. Currently, the Kinship Affiliate Network is made up of 30+ affiliates located in the upper Midwest, having established mentoring relationships for nearly 1,800 of today's youth.