The Bridge Builders Foundation seeks to remove the barriers of race, poverty, ignorance, and despair through mentoring, educational support, health care awareness, and community uplift.
We envision a world where all youth, regardless of circumstance, can realize the fullness of their potential. A world in which healthcare and treatment are equally distributed. A world of inclusion where all benefit from the bountiful resources America has to offer.
African American men must be visible, accessible, and accountable to the African American community. Positive citizenship, Christian values, and civic responsibility must be in the forefront as Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift are stressed. Through exemplary behavior and deeds, youth can be encouraged to constructive pursuits and activities, thus increasing the likelihood of successful outcomes.
The foundation was established as the Zeta Rho Foundation with the State of California in 1998, established as an exempt non-profit with the Internal Revenue Service in 1999, followed by approval as a public charity with Internal Revenue Service in 2006. Our initial mission focus was on uplifting academic achievements of African American male youth and other minorities in the Los Angeles Area. Our initial programs included awarding a few small annual scholarships to graduating high school seniors and a marine science summer camp. We soon expanded in 2005 to include mentoring middle and high school males. These programs now represent our primary mission focus areas.
Our programs have grown to serve over 300 students annually. Our scholarship program consistently awards scholarships to some 40 students annually, including initial scholarships to graduating high school seniors and renewal scholarships to those students who continue their college education up to four years. Our marine science Summer camp was expanded in 2012 to a year-round science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program touching 50-60 male and female minority students in an eight month program annually. Our mentoring program is now a comprehensive mentoring and tutoring program in partnership with the school system and that touches over 150 elementary through high school students annually.
The Zeta Rho Foundation name was changed to Bridge Builders Foundation in December 2015 better communicate our strategic business focus on building bridges from dreams and aspirations to reality for the youth of our community. Those bridges continue to be mentoring and tutoring, STEM, and scholarship programs along with health disparity service initiatives.