LifeBridge works with at-risk youth ages 14-23 from the Greater Bridgeport and Lower Fairfield County areas. We prepare individualized service plans for each youth that include intensive case management, preparation for community re-entry, work readiness and life skill training, job coaching, and placement assistance. LifeBridge also engages and provides supportive services for the families of our youth to build a stronger family unit.
Guided by LifeBridge staff, trainers, and volunteers, participants are motivated to learn life, work, and leadership skills by participating in work internships and entry-level jobs. Our integrated programs link the worlds of learning and work and strengthen the personal capabilities of our young clients, enabling them to develop positive appropriate social behaviors, gain valuable employment and life skills, and pursue educational or employment goals that will lead them to brighter and more secure futures.
LifeBridge’s TechConnections (TC) program began in 2014 and is an after-school computer science education, academic remediation, and career readiness program designed to engage youth aged 14-20 from freshman year through high school graduation. Participating youth learn how to use basic technology tools and software (i.e. Microsoft Office, Java and SQL programming languages, etc.) and also receive the remedial academic support they need to succeed in school. Participants are engaged in challenging but fun projects and problem-solving exercises through coding, robotics, web design and other programs designed to strengthen their academic skills, increase their computer fluency, and build their capacity to participate in the STEM and ICT occupations of the future.
The training includes skills-based, relevant real-world projects in both the classroom and the workplace through apprenticeships, workplace visits and career exploration, motivational guest speakers, as well as job placement assistance.
TC provides youth with consistent, positive and intensive support that capitalizes on their strengths, addresses educational and soft-skill deficits and provides valuable ICT and career readiness skills. Our goal is to ensure that they graduate from high school prepared and connected to post-secondary educational opportunities and/or employment in high-growth industries. For more information, please contact Hollis Martens, Program Director, at 203-368-5629 or email hmartens@LifeBridgeCT.org
Pathways to Justice Careers
In July 2017 our Pathway to Justice Careers (PJC) program began serving Bridgeport youth aged 16 to 21 that have been involved, or are at risk of becoming involved, in the Juvenile Justice system. Participants are referred to our PJC program from DCF’s Juvenile Parole Services, Juvenile Probation, or identified as at-risk youth and referred by Bridgeport’s Public and Alternative Schools.
Our comprehensive PJC program helps youth develop the cognitive, communication, and soft-skills necessary to successfully enter into a career in the justice or emergency services field. PJC provides program activities five days a week that include case management, fundamental soft skills training, basic math and reading skills remediation, career guidance, and mentorship from individuals working in justice or emergency service fields (police, firefighters, legal professionals, corrections officers, EMT, and paramedics etc.) Case managers will double as instructors and engage with participating youth, their families, and their schools to ensure they receive the comprehensive support they need to succeed. Youth who successfully complete soft skill training and achieve appropriate math and reading levels will be placed in a paid internship in a relevant PJC field. For more information, please contact Hollis Martens, Program Director, at 203-368-5629 or email hmartens@LifeBridgeCT.org
Community Supervision Program
The Community Supervision Program is a pilot program that employs The University of Cincinnati’s EPICS-I model to serve high-risk youth. These youth are referred to LifeBridge by The Department of Children and Families (DCF) Parole Unit and Court Support Services Division’s (CSSD) Juvenile Probation to work with staff to identify individuals within their community to work as “Influencers.” LifeBridge staff act as “Coaches” and train the “Influencers” to work with youth on displaying appropriate behaviors, avoiding negative peers, etc. This program began on July 1, 2017. For more information, please contact Janet Ortiz, Community Supervision Program Coordinator, at 203-368-5625 or email jortiz@LifeBridgeCT.org
Fostering Responsibility, Education, and Employment (FREE)
Our FREE Program provides services for youth ages 14-21, in the Greater Bridgeport and Lower Fairfield County area, who are currently on parole and are committed to the Department of Children (DCF) and Family Parole Services. To help our youth become healthy and productive citizens we provide case management, instruction, and comprehensive support services that include: basic health and independent living skills, personal and family relationships; educational support and advocacy; assessment of vocational skills and interests, development of related employment skills, and opportunities for work internships and job placement.
Each FREE participant receives a customized service plan that identifies their current capacities and establishes strategies to address gaps in fundamentals while improving life and work skills. Our intensive, consistent, and motivational case management empowers youth and their families to overcome challenges and to realize higher goals for life achievement. For more information, please contact Hollis Martens, Program Director, at 203-368-5629 or email hmartens@LifeBridgeCT.org