Research on offender profiles indicated that many violent and drug crime offenders in Parkwood are high school dropouts, mostly male, ages 16-24 years of age. It was decided that a program was needed to provide GED and job training to prevent or intervene in crime among this population.
BRIDGE Jobs received a PSN outreach grant to provide these services. The program is run locally out of the Sherman Memorial Church of God and Christ, a wonderful collaboration with the faith community and PSN. Younger clients prepare for the work leading to the GED at this facility. They then move to the merchandise mart for computer training and taking of the GED. Bus tokens are provided for the youth to travel to the merchandise mart. Youth come from Parkwood and surrounding communities.
Another segment of the program is vocational training. Classes are offered in customer service and in industrial work. The vocational training classes are newly established and are progressing nicely thus far.
Bridge held a graduation in June 2004 for some of the first GED graduates out of the PSN portion of their program. Click below to link to a video of the graduation.