New campus club helps troubled youths

Franchesca Walker

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Bridging The Gap is a new club with a mission to reach out to at-risk youth in the community by empowering and encouraging them to improve their quality of life and standard of living.

The club is part of the non-profit organization Bridging the Gap, which was established by City College students. Currently, Bridging the Gap operates out of the Business Resource Center and is overseen by Leroy Brady.

Bridging the Gap started off as an organization back in 2010, with the club developing as recently as over this past summer.

One of the founders of the club, Robert Crouse, explains how the organization began. “I started working with youth out of Enactus in 2010 on Fridays and it progressively became big … Me and a couple of friends, some students, got together and said let’s make this a San Diego City College nonprofit organization that (represents) our school and make good things come out of the community … and let’s call it Bridging the Gap — Where Hope is Born.”

Secretary Genesis Delgado explained, “We work with the community, for example, like this event. We do events like serve ministries; we do outreach and work with at-risk youth. We work with groups that kinda prepare people for like the workforce and stuff like that.”

On Sept. 19, the club put together their first event: a fundraiser for an upcoming Don’t Be a Bully conference which took place at Writerz Block from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The conference encourages organizations and people from the community to help prevent bullying. FanBoyGaming.com and Cornerstone Church of San Diego are two of many organizations that participated in the fundraiser.

Local rappers and singers performed at the fundraiser, accompanied by skaters doing tricks on a half pipe and rails.

President of the Uprising Club, Raquel Scelsa said, “It was a decent turnout … for a start out club … I’m enjoying myself.”

The Don’t Be a Bully conference first took place in 2011 under Enactus (formerly S.I.F.E.). Through the conference, they aim to address bully prevention in the community through workshops and guest speakers. Bridging the Gap is sponsoring the conference this year.

On its website, Crouse explains how he contributes to the club and organization through past experiences. “I was an at-risk youth. My passion is a direct reflection of what I’m freed from. With my experience and testimony, I can help some kids get back on track or on track without going through what I went through … that’s the call of God that he put in my life is to be that bridge for them.”

The Don’t Be a Bully conference will take place Oct. 18 to Oct. 23 at Otay Ranch High School.

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