Blake Evans, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts majoring in communication, worked as a facilitator with Bridge Builders Alabama, a two-year youth development program for high-school juniors and seniors based out of Montgomery.
Bridge Builders is an absolutely amazing organization that uses unique tactics to break down racial, cultural, and other types of social barriers in order to create a generation of future leaders who are without any prejudices. Their methods can appear pointless and questionable at times, but the Bridge Builders process is sure to run its successful course given the proper delivery and nourishment.
Having had the opportunity to facilitate Bridge Builders’ Junior Conference I know that there is a reason behind the madness of Bridge Builders. While it can be difficult to get students to buy into the program, if they simply “trust the process” then they will stretch themselves to unimaginable personal growth, and as a result they will find themselves becoming much better citizens and leaders. The process is entirely out of the ordinary and somewhat manipulative, but it works. Moreover, as a facilitator I can honestly state that there is little else more satisfying than when your group finally reaches its “breakthrough moment” and they realize what Bridge Builders is all about.
Furthermore, Bridge Builders allows students to reach their full potential by teaching students the importance of diversity. As citizens, apart we are little, but together we are great. Bridge Builders teaches this principle by allowing students to spend time with and gain the trust of people with different backgrounds than them. Students leave with a far different perspective than when they arrived because of the diversity that they are faced with. I am convinced that the impact that Bridge Builders has on students will pay huge dividends in the future because the world will become a much more diversified, unified, and therefore successful place due to these future leaders.