Program Works To Grow Future Leaders

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(Memphis) The Bridge Builders Change program unites diverse young people from across Shelby County committed to making their communities better.

The program brings together young people who have proven leadership skills and teaches them how to be effective leaders and how to make positive changes in the community.

"Being a leader is more than just being the main man on campus or the person who is taking charge of everything. It's about hard work and dedication and learning from your mistakes," said Paris Byrd.

The senior at Central High School is passionate about students having a voice, and  found "her" voice in the last three years at Bridges, "You're never too young or too small to make a change in your community."

The students in the change program come from schools all over Shelby County.

Logan Ruthling said Bridges taught him the importance of diversity, "It opened my eyes to so many new things about the beauty of my city, the people in my city. All of the rich history and culture that's in Memphis."

For the last three years, change students have worked with students in Shelby County schools to form a student congress.

Last November, the district voted to recognize the student congress.

"It was driven by a need for a youth voice in their communities and their schools," said Jesse Smith.

The student congress embodies the mission of Bridge Builders with young people coming together, working together, appreciating the exchange of ideas and achieving positive results.




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