Bridges offered educational services and subsidized internships to help Chicago men earn a GED and find employment.
The Bridges program offered online instruction toward a high school diploma or GED, socio-emotional learning workshops, individual counseling, soft-skills and job-readiness training, subsidized internships, and case management services. Participants began the program by attending a group orientation session and taking the Test of Adult Basic Education and an online financial training. Following the financial training, participants began the first of three phases of Bridges services. Phase 1 services, which lasted five weeks, consisted of academic enrichment, socio-emotional learning workshops, individual counseling, and soft-skills and employment-readiness training. In Phase 2, which lasted 12 weeks, participants spent 33 hours per week working in subsidized internships and working toward their academic goals. In Phase 3, from week 18 to 25, participants earned their GED, completed their counseling, and were assisted in obtaining employment. Bridges provided six months of services and three months of follow-up. Bridges served men between the ages of 17 and 21 who did not have a high school diploma and who had been incarcerated at least once in their lives. This program operated in Chicago, IL, from 2013 to 2016.