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Our heroes: Tressa, Judi and the Go Girlz

April 10, 2014


At Bridge Communities, we are lucky to have amazing volunteers that work not only with the parents in Bridge, but with their children as well. The Go Girlz program, geared toward helping teen and pre-teen girls, was started by volunteers Tressa Kett and Judi Anderson in July 2012. The group meets every other Wednesday night at the Naperville campus’ Learning Resource Center (LRC).

“There was a large demographic of adolescent girls in the Bridge program at the Naperville location,” says Tressa. “We’d been volunteering with the kids program at the LRC, but we reevaluated it and saw where the need really was. We also remembered what it was like to be a teenage girl, and knew this program was needed.”

Essentially, the program focuses on building the girls’ self-confidence. “We’ll talk about any topic they come to us with—there’s no topic they can’t bring up,” says Tressa. “If we don’t know the answers, we’ll find them out. The group is about learning to be comfortable in your own skin, no matter what that skin is.”

They work on life skills in the group, too. The girls planned the Halloween party and the picnic for the younger kids—making the decorations, deciding what food should be served, and more. Coming up this spring, the girls are volunteering to teach the younger kids a flash mob dance, and they’re holding a mother’s day brunch at the LRC for their moms.

“We also talk about scholarships and the ways they can be prepared to go to school,” says Judi. “We keep them conscious of their grades and how that affects their future.” Adds Tressa, “We set high expectations for them, because if you don’t expect a lot, you won’t obtain a lot. They get a lot of positive reinforcement and praise here. We’ve decided ‘Once a Go Girl, Always a Go Girl,’ so that even if the girl and her family graduate from the Bridge program, she can still be part of us.”

Are you interested in getting more involved at Bridge Communities? Visit for more ways that YOU can make a difference in the lives of our families.

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