After 4 years of 24/7 childhood-trauma memory work I found myself at Bridges door step with little awareness of the shift I required and not knowing if they could help me move forward. When they told me "this is the program for you!", I thought they were crazy! I thought I would never fit anywhere ever again. Then my first day in class I had a breakdown in the bathroom because I realized how far from Society I was after 4 years of healing work. I worked very hard in the 6 month program to bridge gaps in my memory and brain function, relate to people, articulate myself again. I graduated because I had non-judgemental support from people who accepted me in the moment - where I was - and where I wanted to be next - and it was all on my own terms! After graduation I did 7 days of "0 Trace" living Mountaineering with Outward Bound, then was asked to volunteer as the Bridges IT Technician. 5 years later I am still there ... developed BridgesIT Support Services to raise IT standards every year which support clients, volunteers and staff who participate in the many facets of Bridges ... including the visionary aspects at work to help even more people move forward! Why? Because I know that Bridges has a transformative Recipe that works, and can be applied to many areas of transition in our community. I know it works! I am a graduate!
I started out at Bridge's with very low self esteem. I still have to remember to tune out the negative voices when they show themselves; fortunately, Bridge's played a very important role in helping me build the toolbox of skills I needed to do that. Another aspect I really appreciate is that Bridge's opened up opportunities for me to learn how to communicate better. Even though I have already graduated I have been invited back to continue to improve my communication through a course that has been added. It is perfect timing too. Bridge's has helped me get a positive focus and continues to encourage me to reach my personal and career goals. Bridge's offers many valuable courses. I think it would have been even better if the program was funded to be a little bit longer. The challenges that came up were handled in a way that I could learn to deal with a variety of situations that could very well come up at any job. I wish some of my friends who do not live in the area could take the online program by Bridge's. Apparently after the three year pilot project was successful then they no longer had the funding for that part of Bridge's. I really hope this changes. They could be helping so many women in remote communities to be contributing so much more when they do their jobs in the community after building up their strengths.
I am only 4 months into my 9 month commitment with Bridges as a Career Mentor, and in just this short amount of time, Bridges has transformed my life in so many positive ways. Bridges is formed of a strong community of women from all walks of life, and together as mentors and mentess, we share our experiences and learn together hand in hand. The two facilitators of the program (Lola & Yvette)bring such a warm, loving, nurturing energy to the program, and I truly feel priviledged to be a part of it. I plan on continuing to be involved with Bridges for many years to come.