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Thanks A Million: Grant Offers Career Training For At-Risk Bridgeport Youth

A $1 million grant will help at-risk youth in Bridgeport attain career-readiness skills.
A $1 million grant will help at-risk youth in Bridgeport attain career-readiness skills. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- LifeBridge Community Services of Bridgeport will be awarded $1 million by the U.S. Department of Labor to help youth ages 16-21 who are at risk of dropping out of public or alternative high school gain skills to serve their communities in justice careers.

LifeBridge is one of six non-profit organizations who received funding for pilot programs that provide at-risk youth mentoring and career exploration in justice and emergency services, including police officers, firefighters, lawyers, and paramedics.

The goal of these projects is for students to graduate from high school prepared to enter the workforce, post-secondary education or a registered apprenticeship. These grants will provide students: exposure to the world of work, mentoring to encourage students to complete their high school diploma or equivalency, and supportive services like transportation and books to sustain their involvement in the program and in school. The students will be mentored by justice and emergency services personnel, including judges, attorneys, sociologists, and forensic scientists.

“This grant presents an extraordinary opportunity for LifeBridge to help at-risk youth build critical academic, computer and work-readiness skills as well as receive the career guidance, case management and mentoring support they need to succeed,'' said Bill Hass, LifeBridge President and CEO. "The Bridgeport community will be strengthened by 250 upwardly mobile youth who will be prepared to pursue advanced education and careers in justice and emergency services.”

LifeBridge will provide participating youth with comprehensive services that include case management, academic remediation, computer skills development, work-readiness and soft-skills training, career guidance, and mentoring. The program engages a broad spectrum of collaborating agencies to work as a team to focus their resources and expertise to help the youth succeed.

Members of the team to date include the: Connecticut Court Support Services Division, Connecticut Department of Children and Families/Juvenile Parole Services, City of Bridgeport Police, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, The WorkPlace, the Bridgeport Board of Education and the University School. For more information, please contact Dawn Hatchett, LifeBridge Executive Vice President and COO,

LifeBridge is a 167 year-old 501(c)(3) social service agency whose mission is to empower people to build a brighter future. For more information, visit our website:

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