By Miriam Aliberti —
Family Bridges’ mission is to promote thriving communities by delivering services to strengthen family relationships while respecting their cultural and spiritual values. I spoke with Eduardo Morales Jr., Program Manager at Family Bridges to learn more about the organization.
What is Family Bridges USA?
Family Bridges uniquely concentrates on developing innovative strategies that prevent the breakdown of families and marriages rather than interventions that aim to repair the damage already done. The organization values marriage, character, education, and work as pathways for bringing economic stability and mobility to families served. Their vision is to see “strong families with purpose-driven children, leaders of their generation, committed to their communities.”
What programs do you have for teens?
Family Bridges offers localized training, workshops, and events to help students, individuals and couples: 1) learn a broad range of healthy relationship and professional development skills, 2) understand and build character through narrative, and 3) engage in the community.
• Instagram Page: Dating_IRL – a digital resource with encouraging content around dating, decision-making, goal-setting and other things young adults navigate through.
• The Dating Project documentary. Family Bridges teamed up with this movie to bring awareness to healthy dating and combat the hook-up culture. They rented out 6 theaters and over 500 young adults came to view the movie, followed by Dating IRL live conversations and workshops in the community.
• Relationship Smarts – a curriculum from the Dibble Institute that teaches Social-Emotional learning components and how to engage in healthy relationships (friendships or dating).
• How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk or Jerkette – a resource for ages 18+ by John Van Epp that specifically focuses on dating and marriage. It looks at Relational Intelligence and EQ to help individuals use their heads while protecting their hearts.
How would someone who wants to use the services get started?
Family Bridges goes to where people are, offering educational workshops in schools, businesses, and community venues. If a group is interested, they can reach out directly to schedule a workshop or event.
What is the impact of Family Bridges work on the community?
Family Bridges’ Phoenix has collaborated, in varying capacities, with over 500 organizations to deliver transformational workshops in the community that have engaged over 40,000 people. Via its culturally relevant radio and theatre productions, Family Bridges has extended its reach to tens of thousands in Phoenix and abroad. Through innovative programming, strategic collaborations, and faithful stewardship, Family Bridges has continually demonstrated its capacity to bring about lasting change in the communities it serves. The key to Family Bridges’ success has been its emphasis on collaboration and community investment in program delivery.
In addition to the workshops and events delivered on the ground, Family Bridges utilizes innovative storytelling principles to strengthen family relationships. In 2016, “The Secrets of Santa Monica,” a Spanglish theatre production drew a total of 3,500 attendees at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix. This show and radio novella leverage evidence-based theories of behavior change that have been studied at John Hopkins University’s Entertainment-Education Center.
What would you most like people to know about Family Bridges?
Family Bridges is committed to promoting strong, vibrant communities. Strengthening the families that live within those communities is critical to their progress and growth. Developing and implementing programs that focus on strengthening families as the foundation of a flourishing society will yield long-term, sustainable impact for years to come.
Learn more about Family Bridges: