The Bridge House - Transitioning into Adulthood
One critical issue to any program to help abandoned children is have an effective way to launch them into adulthood. The Bridge House is designed to do exactly that. When the children at the Rancho Ebenezer Campus reach age 17, they are offered the opportunity to move to the Bridge House to finish their last year of high school and prepare for college or a vocation. In this setting, these youth are given a budget that they have to manage. With this budget, they purchase their own food and clothing. They prepare their own meals, wash their own clothes, and learn to use public transportation. They are expected to get temporary jobs during semester breaks to help pay for their support during this transition time.
Here, two of the youth who are living at the Bridge House and are the first to go to college are highlighted -- Cintia and Victor. When Victor and Cintia Bonilla (siblings) graduated from high school they were excited about the opportunity to attend college and take advantage of the Bridge House scholarship program. In fact, they were so anxious and enthusiastic, they immediately enrolled for the college summer session instead of waiting until the fall classes to begin.
Their enthusiasm for college is evident in the way they have dedicated themselves to their coursework, as they are both doing
well. The transition to college has been good for them as they began to realize that they have not just advanced one grade higher, but have actually entered into a whole new world of opportunity and responsibility. They are adapting well to this new world. As successful high school students, Victor and Cintia both learned good study habits, which have been a great asset to them in college. They spend the necessary time after class preparing themselves for the next class, regardless of whether or not an assignment was given. They understand
the opportunity that has been given to them and want to take full advantage of it. They know it is an opportunity few Hondurans are given, and even fewer who come from a difficult background like theirs.
Victor is currently majoring in International Business and Marketing and Cintia in Tourism. Because of their schooling at
Rancho Ebenezer, they are both fully bilingual in Spanish and English. This fact alone places them in a good position to be
successful and be in a position to contribute to society. Cintia and Victor are just the first two of the success stories that have and will come out of Rancho Ebenezer and the Bridge House.