Getting Young Lives Back on Track

BTGBanner

94% of Haverhill students who graduate from Bridging the Gap do not re-offend within a year. Our recidivism rate is among the best for similar programs. Statewide, 87% of students who graduate Bridging the Gap do not re-offend within the year.

BRIDGING THE GAP MISSION: To educate youth on the resources and tools needed for them to make better decisions for themselves and ultimately attain a more promising future.

In 1996, we initiated our Bridging The Gap Between Youth and Community Services program to serve court-involved and at-risk or high risk youth ages 12 to 17. This innovative program is designed to provide the support and skills youth need to keep their lives on track. The twelve-unit life skills curriculum, designed by The Salvation Army, focuses on either prevention or intervention. The program is offered at no cost to participants.

Since 1996, the program has served over 6,000 youth throughout Massachusetts. Today, Bridging the Gap is operating in 13 communities across the Commonwealth. Programs are placed where there is an urgent need to provide safe alternatives to violent and risky behavior in youth. Catching young lives at a critical juncture, we aim to significantly reduce the potential for court-involved youth to become re-offenders. Bridging The Gap is designed to provide youth with a foundation for reaching their personal potential and for positive interaction with the community at-large.

For success stories and more information view our 2013 Fund Report

Schedule

Monday and Wednesday 4:00-5:45 PM

Curriculum

The curriculum includes topics such as building self-esteem; how to deal with peer pressure; anger management and decision making; communication skills ; relationships with family members, friends, figures of authority; culture and diversity; violence and gangs; the effects of drugs and alcohol, job seeking and financial planning, legal issues and ethics. Teens also learn about the resources available in their community. A Christian attitude underlies everything we do.

Program Objectives

Bridging the Gap has three primary objectives:

  1. Students complete the program
  2. Students further their education
  3. Students do not re-offend

We also work to stabilize the family and youth through the crises of arrest and court appearances, and then work with them to address the factors that led to the arrest. READ MORE.

Key Partnerships lead to Proven Results

Our Bridging The Gap programs work cooperatively and effectively with numerous other community agencies, including District Attorney's offices, local law enforcement, juvenile probation offices, Department of Youth Services (DYS) and Department of Children and Families (DCF), schools, corrections system, and volunteers to create a network of services aimed at keeping youth on track, keeping them engaged, and keeping them focused.

Upon graduation, youth sent to the program through Juvenile Diversion programs with the District Attorney’s office may have their criminal records cleared provided they do not re-offend for one year. Bridging the Gap staff members and volunteers periodically meet with graduates and their parents. It is a blessing to report that, one year after graduation, 87% of program participants had not re-offended.

Above, students participate in class outside at a local lake; student Kayla volunteers in the food pantry.

What People are Saying about Bridging the Gap Haverhill

Students
In bridging the Gap, I felt like I’ve learned a lot these past months. Like, everything has changed because I started getting good grades, I started playing a sport, I help little kids, and I stopped hanging out with bad people. [my favorite class was] learning about peer pressure because it took me to where I can be calm and stay happy and I could stay true to myself. —Nikkita (Graduate)

After graduating I really changed stuff around at school and I started getting all A’s and B’s. I used to get D’s. I stay out of other people’s business and I’m more confident now. —Robert (Graduate, one year after program completion)

For more information or questions regarding Bridging The Gap, please contact the Haverhill Bridging the Gap Director, Robin DelNegro. She can be reached by phone at 978-420-4192 or through email at Robin.DelNegro@use.SalvationArmy.org.

To reach the director of our program in another community, click on the name to email or call the indicated number.

COMMUNITY DIRECTOR (click name to EMAIL) PHONE
Attleboro Daniel Dore 508-226-8624
Boston Capt. Darell Houseton 617-318-6937
Cambridge Cynthia Guevara 617-547-3400, ext. 235
Fitchburg Maggie Perez 978-342-3300
Haverhill Robin DelNegro 978-420-4192
Holyoke Anthony Falvo 413-733-1518
Lawrence Robin DelNegro 978-590-0278
Lowell Tanya Cameron 978-458-3396, ext. 227
North Adams Carole Hildebrand 413-663-7987
Pittsfield Carole Hildebrand 413-442-0624
Salem (North Shore) Katina Polemenako MSW 978-744-5181
Springfield Anthony Falvo 413-733-1518
Worcester Danny Diaz 508-756-7191