Theory of Change

Through unique experiential learning activities that are adventurous, relational, and transformative, BRIDGES helps empower youth to reach across racial and socio-economic divides, prepare for secondary educational opportunities and careers, and engage in civic affairs in their communities.

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Our Mission

We unite and inspire diverse youth to become confident and courageous leaders committed to community transformation.

Our Vision

To increase authentic leadership opportunities for diverse youth in order to cultivate a more equitable and inclusive Memphis that values youth voice.


We provide experiences, skill building, and connections.

Youth and adults engage in adventurous, experiential learning opportunities that allow them to grow as leaders. They develop abilities to work together, address problems and strengthen our community. Youth build authentic connections with peers and adults, amplifying youth voices and participation across multiple spaces in Greater Memphis.


We build leadership, diversity, and community.

Youth develop the values, knowledge, skills, attitudes and relationships needed to engage in community transformation. We value individual, social, economic, and cultural differences, and encourage youth to engage in community change for equity and social justice alongside adults well-prepared to effectively support them.


This leads to inclusion, awareness, and power.

Youth and adults engage in shared decision-making within institutions that serve and affect young people. Strong youth voices clarify and amplify the dynamic needs and perspectives of young people within the wider Memphis community. Skilled, informed and connected youth leaders mobilize to build a more just, equitable, and inclusive community where decision-making is shared with adults.

Every student counts.

Young people are born with creativity and passion to lead. BRIDGES has worked with thousands of students to unlock that potential and activate new generations of leaders across Memphis.

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*Data from 2022-2023


Total youth


Schools and youth-serving organizations


Zip Codes

4 of 5

students said
their leadership skills improved