Bridge the Gap mentoring program provides opportunities to youth in the Chicagoland area to participate in experiences with peers from other areas in order to build life skills necessary to achieve success while breaking barriers of generational prejudice, inequity, and misunderstandings.
Bridge the Gap is the passion project of friends Tyler Vlna and Crystle Saylor. After a petition started by Tyler addressing the lacking of diversity and inclusivity of the art displayed in Naperville, IL went viral receiving over 50,000 signatures, the two decided it was time to have some courageous conversations around the issues plaguing our society today.
Tyler, having been born and raised for the beginning part of his life on the west side of Chicago, then being adopted and completing middle and high school in Downers Grove, IL, an affluent suburb of Chicago, experienced "the gap" first hand.
Crystle being a Special Education teacher in the heart of Chicago has always been passionate about work in equity, and found the most influential moments of her life (and students) were when she had the opportunity to step out of the comfort zone and on journeys to collaborate with others in new experiences.
Tyler and Crystle both feel the change needed in today's climate starts with Bridging the Gap among the youth.
They pulled a few like minds together to create a non-profit to Bridge the Gap.
Having healthy habits for body and mindset is key.
Whether one has goals to attend a 4 year university, trade school, or certification, it's important to find the post secondary goal that fits!
It's important youth are exposed to a variety of industries to find a career that suits them.
To create literally means to bring into being. Tapping into one's creativity has many advantages such as improves critical thinking and reduces anxiety.
When youth participate in civic activities, they learn to work collectively, ask critical questions, appreciate diversity and build social capital and community trust.
Depending on where one resides, most youth are simply not exposed to proper instruction on financial matters. As debt increases for our young people, we must teach money matters.
Mentoring young people shouldn’t stop when they leave high school. We at Bridge the Gap believe in mentoring the whole person by participating in service projects centered around our six pillars: 1.Health and wellness,
Bridge the Gap works with youth to identify needs for service and then partners with schools, organizations, and communities to bring about opportunities for youth to Bridge the Gap and create Unity. Endeavors include drives for essentials such as school supplies and food, seminars, and workshops which are decided in large part by youth volunteers.
BTG wants to pick up where traditional education left off and help young people be confident, independent, and ready to invest in themselves and in their communities with the resources to do so.
The team of volunteers at Bridge the Gap come from a variety of different backgrounds from school administrators to successful entrepreneurs and business owners.
Currently,the team is working with financial industry experts to create a Financial Literacy Course for young people with other courses to come. This course will teach people everything from understanding loans and credit, to the basics of launching a LLC and S Corp. Participants will then have access to funds (based on availability) to help launch their business plan in their community.
Bridge the Gap currently supports students enrolled in college with tutoring, counseling, mentoring, and basic need financial support.
If you would like to partner or contribute to our fund please contact us at email@example.com