Home Escambia County Happy Tears at Bright Bridge Ministries

Happy Tears at Bright Bridge Ministries

When I walked into Bright Bridge Ministries yesterday, I immediately knew I was about to be a part of something very special. Bright Bridge Ministries is on a mission to help those in need become contributing members of society, leading lives they are proud of, and that is exactly what yesterday was all about.


Six individuals graduated their Fresh Start Program, a program that teaches basic skills and principles of cooking and identification of different proteins and vegetables, as well as how to put them all together in a presentable way. The goal of the program is to prepare those who may have battled homelessness or addiction for the workforce, by gaining skills in the kitchen. With donations from their food partner, Native Cafe, they are able to fund the supplies needed for the class.

As I listened to the stories of each individual and watched them walk across the stage to get their certificate, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Not just for the life I am blessed to live, but to share space with a room full of compassionate, godly and kind-hearted members of our community. People who believe in second chances and believe in helping the most vulnerable and under-resourced residents.

Once I dried my eyes and the ceremony completed, we were able to walk through the line and taste test each of the graduates final dishes and chat with them about their experience in the Fresh Start program. The smiles on their faces said it all, but every single graduate came to the same consensus ~ they felt as if they were given a life’s purpose and a new lease on life.

I encourage you all to visit Bright Bridge Ministries website to learn more about their mission and visit wkrg.com for the story on yesterday. I also encourage you to always try and see the good in people first. The wonderful people at Bright Bridge Ministries reminded me yesterday of what that looks like and the lives you can change and communities you can empower when you choose to do so.

Lastly, I want to say congratulations to the second graduating class of the Fresh Start program. I am cheering you on and feel honored to watch the first step of what is sure to be a long, successful life journey!

Congratulations to: Nathan Arlington, William Adams, Brandon Meyer, Victor Purify, Thomas Hill and his wife, Jackie Lyons.

Elli Gentile