COMMUNITY BRIDGES INCORPORATED
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March 1, 2013
To all that read this:Melissa Butz
Parent to Agnes King – Jump Start Girls Kemp Mill Elementary
8 Philadelphia Ave. Takoma Park, Md. 20912 Sept. 12, 2012
To whom it concerns:
I am writing this letter to acknowledge and support the great efforts and mission of Community Bridges of Maryland. I served as a foster parent to a wonderful, inspiring & traumatized little girl by the name of Agnes King. Aggie joined our family when she was 8 years old through the * Mentor of Maryland that works with children in foster care that have a series of medical complexities. I was so grateful that the school counselor, Ms. Jennifer Holt of Kemp Mill Elementary contacted me regarding the collaborative efforts they had with a local non- profit organization known as:” Community Bridges”.
I had shared with the school Principal and Counselor my concerns as it related to Aggies need to socialize with her peers. Aggie came to our family very withdrawn, scared and a loner. She had undergone allot of trauma as a child and was in foster care since birth. I came to know of Aggie through a former family member that was her respite. I knew that aggie was a gift from God to us, for I too, was in the foster care system, however I didn’t have it as difficult as Agnes. I shared with Aggie that while I was undergoing my childhood trials and tribulations that I wished there was a “girl power” program out there such as Community Bridges. Given Agnes’ birth mothers’ habits, Agnes was born without allot of her vital organs and lower extremities that we take for granite. Agnes had very low self esteem and was used to being a “victim” verses “victor” and she just co-existed….nothing excited Agnes. After a year, Community Bridges was revealed to me and the school counselor felt this would be great for Aggie.
When I met with the Elementary School manager of Jump start program, I was more excited for Aggie then she was. It was just another program and commitment (was her take). However, after a month of her involvement, I noticed aggie started to be more inquisitive as to what “leaders” were and if she was going to be a leader…is that the same as a Doctor? For Agnes had gone through so much medically, I fostered the idea of becoming a “kidney” specialist and she wanted to be a veterinarian. WOW- Aggie is actually speaking of “future” goals.
This was a new little girl, which was blossoming. I contacted Community Bridges in 2010(2009-2011- participant) and shared of her new lease on life and I thanked them for making such an impact on her life, as it related to self image, self esteem and a positive outlook. Agnes would never forget about her afterschool commitments that involved “CB”. Ms Lopez was the ED at the time and I recall crying over the phone and sharing the caterpillar to the butterfly affect they had on her. Agnes would doodle “butterflies” on her paper and that is how we (Community Bridges) related her life changes to…..spread your wings and fly. I am sure the Principal (Floyd Starnes) would agree and support my observations and testimonies!!! She was excited that she was “selected” for this program. She would say today is “girl power- for the hour”. I knew it was Wednesday and she was meeting with “CB” today Agnes took pride in herself, hygiene and a genuine interest in her health, life and her futuristic dreams. I am so proud of her and I know that Community Bridges played an intricate part in Agnes’ growth. She learned how to eliminate the woes and replace it with “I CAN”. THANK YOU…. TO ALL OF THE ANGELS OF COMMUNITY BRIDGES. Love, Melissa and family
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