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Greater Tulsa Reporter


Bridges of Faith: Investing in Tulsa’s Youth

By DEWEY F. BARTLETT, JR.
Mayor, City of Tulsa

TIME OUT: Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. encourages a young man as part of the Bridges of Faith program.



Last summer, the Mayor’s office launched Bridges of Faith as a pilot program to serve youth in the north Tulsa community. This pilot program matched dozens of churches to help each other provide safe, fun and educational activities for Tulsa youth. I’m pleased to tell you it was a resounding success, serving more than 200 youth each week in the North Tulsa community.

With the help of the Tulsa Parks Department and several local churches, we tapped into local basketball leagues to not only provide several nights of sport and competition but to connect youth with positive role models. The City of Tulsa showcased our fire and police officers during basketball nights. Fire and police recruiters also played and talked with teens to encourage them to pursue a career in public safety and service.

Because of last year’s tremendous success in the north Tulsa community, we’re bringing Bridges of Faith back again this year and will be expanding it to other areas of the city.

The mayor’s office has been working with the Bridges of Faith Steering Committee and the Tulsa Police Department to identify areas in which youth would best be served by the Bridges of Faith Program. Those at-risk areas have been identified in all areas of the community, and the program will focus on basketball for young men, between the ages of 15 and 19.

The following organizations have stepped up to participate and volunteer in the program: Tulsa Dream Center, Spirit Life Church, GUTS, Greater Cornerstone Church, St. Bernard’s of Clairvaux, and Living Well Ministries.

As we look ahead to a long, hot summer, we need to give our youth opportunities to do something fun and keep them out of harm’s way. Bridges of Faith is still seeking organizations that have basketball facilities to help host upcoming games during the summer. Organizations or congregations without a basketball facility may also volunteer as coaches or mentors.

If you’re interested in volunteering or want to get involved in the City of Tulsa’s Bridges of Faith program, please call David Autry, mayoral aide at 918-576-5527 or e-mail him at dautry@cityoftulsa.org.

The young people of this great city are our greatest treasure. We need to focus on kids all across Tulsa. Together, we can positively affect the future of our youth and the future of Tulsa. Please join me in investing in the lives of Tulsa youth and building positive relationships to last a lifetime.

Updated 05-16-2013

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