Highbridge Community Life Center provides a wide range of free educational and social services for the community.
Adult Education A large adult education program that offers English, Nurse Aide Training, citizenship and basic education courses to over 1,500 students annually.
Adult Education traces its beginnings to Sr. Mary Doris, the first teacher who began teaching Math and English to a few students so that they could earn their High School Equivalency Diploma (GED). Since 1981, Adult Education has grown to a large and comprehensive program.
The goals of Adult Education are:
Promoting Education and Life-Long Learning
Many students who come to Highbridge want to improve in education and in life. Some students who have not done well in traditional education have the opportunity to be successful at Highbridge.
Adult Education believes that when students learn, there is an exponential success that happens to them and to the community.
Meeting the Needs of the Community
Adult Education began with the idea of one nun responding to the needs of a few students. Many of our students are working hard to develop sufficient language fluency in order to get work. Adult Education provides classes to help these students learn English and get citizenship so that they can find work and support their families.
Broadening Educational and Employment Opportunities
Many adults come to further their education, get skills to get a job, and acquire skills to move about in the world.
Adult Education offers Nurse Aide Training that is designed to help residents get a job with secure benefits and chances for advancement in the health care field. People come to Highbridge and get a new vision to go many places.
During the Fall 2006 session, HCLC is offering 31 non-tuition classes in 16 distinct courses covering 5 areas of study – Basic Education, Citizenship, English for Speakers of Other Languages, GED and Nurse Aide Training.
Youth Services An expanding after-school youth and summer program that serves over 300 youth and their families.
In 1980, Highbridge opened its doors to serve youth and began an after school program in the basement of Sacred Heart School on 1248 Nelson Avenue. Today, our after-school youth and summer program serves over 300 youth ages 6- 18. We offer a safe and comfortable place where youth learn and have fun, with bright colored tables and full-length dance mirrors for youth to enjoy.
The program aims to build assets, developmental building blocks youth need in order to thrive. These assets include: self-esteem, achievement motivation, responsibility, integrity, positive family communication, youth as resources, creative activities and boundaries (Search Institute). Search Institute research has found that assets are powerful influences on young people.
The Get & Give philosophy is to provide opportunities for young people to give back to others and to their community. Youth lead health fairs, Thanksgiving food drives, coat drives, write articles for the community newspaper, send cards to senior citizens, raise funds for heart disease “Jump-a-thon,” and more. Young people can make a difference!
Opportunities and Enrichment
Highbridge believes that the more new opportunities a young person has been exposed to, the higher the likelihood he or she will seek out other opportunities such as college or satisfying employment. Get & Give provides field trips that introduce youth to new experiences that expand their awareness beyond the South Bronx. A popular field trip among youth is the agency retreat center in Goshen, New York.
The Life Center believes “that children do well when their families do well; and families do better when they live in communities that support them” (Annie Casey Foundation). The Get & Give program involves parents in their children’s lives through public performances and events, family workshops, and retreats.
Family Services A multi-disciplinary mental health program that offers counseling and child abuse prevention to 250 families.
Since 1981, Family Services has served the mental health needs of the Highbridge Community by providing quality, low-cost, multi-disciplinary counseling services to a traditionally underserved population.
It provides individual and group counseling, child abuse prevention, community outreach and education, and professional training. The heart of Family Services is about building relationships with clients that facilitate growth and change.
Improving Mental Health
Family Services strives to improve the mental health and overall well-being of all clients. Many clients come to Highbridge because they want to better their lives and their families. The program believes that clients are the experts of their own life, meaning that a client knows what is best for them.
Family Services will walk the road with clients to help them to learn, grow, and discover their potential.
Strengthening Family Functioning
Family Services works with families to create respectful, responsible, and caring interpersonal relationships. The program helps families develop the art of communication, problem solving, negotiating, and decision-making.
Functional families are able to use these skills in order to break down difficult dilemmas into manageable pieces.
Promoting Healthy Youth
Youth deserve the opportunity to grow up in a nurturing home and community. Family Services provides at-risk families the intensive services that they need in order to keep their children safe and families together.
Family Services offers youth individual and group counseling that can help them develop positive social skills, behaviors, and relationships.
Increasing Support Networks
Families do well when their loved ones and community support them. Family Services helps families connect to friends, relatives, support groups, social services, schools, religious institutions and other community agencies. Family Services brings groups of people together for support and social celebrations.
Often, when families in the program meets others who are experiencing similar issues, it helps them feel that they are not alone.
Community Services A community “Storefront” that helps people make lasting changes in their neighborhood through outreach, community organizing and support services.
Goshen Empowerment Center A 150-acre retreat that hosts day, overnight, and weekend outings for families in New York City.
Recreation Center A state-of-the-art basketball gym, dance studio, and weight room open regularly to the public.