With a father who founded the community outreach division of Great Plains Pop Warner football, and a mother who works for a non-profit public health organization, Bridget was raised on the foundation precepts of community service. In high school, she was deeply impacted by her experience with urban education, and worked hard on various projects to make the Omaha Public School District more equitable. She taught elementary Spanish classes at a magnet school, volunteered in an ELL classroom with Karen refugees, and worked with her Superintendent to draft the English Language Learners’ Education Rights Act - which she presented at the American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls Nation in July of 2011.
Upon entering her freshman year at Vanderbilt, Bridget delighted in being able to tag along to volunteer at various Metro Schools and other programs around the city with her fellow Ingram Scholars. However, she found her place volunteering at The Afterschool Program (TAP, a mentoring program) at the Fourteenth Avenue Missionary Baptist Church in North Nashville. In December 2012, Bridget was asked to join the TAP leadership team as a program coordinator. She eagerly accepted the position, and has since deeply enjoyed the work.
In the spring semester, Bridget helped run daily operations and plan special events for TAP. In addition, she compiled extensive data on the organization’s volunteers in order to optimize its potential for funding and capacity for strategic planning. Furthermore, Bridget stayed in Nashville this summer to teach at TAP’s summer program - which provides mornings of structured academics and afternoons of social enrichment for eight weeks each summer. Bridget was profoundly impacted by her summer with TAP - from her time in the classroom, teaching math and reading to the K-3 group, to her time as interim director, upon executive director Samara Orkin’s transition to Purpose Prep Academy, where she is the founding Dean of Scholar Support.
Ultimately, Bridget’s work with TAP thus far has reminded her so much of why she loves working with children, why they need someone fighting for them, and why the unison of our personal and professional lives is so important for our well-being and those we serve. Bridget is extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with TAP for the next several years, and to do so alongside such a wonderful mentor and friend, Samara Orkin.
Eager to begin her sophomore year at Vanderbilt, Bridget is excited to really embed herself in the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities, and to use her work with TAP as a link between the two. Bridget will also serve as a Residential Advisor for the 2013-2014 school year, and hopes to take on a leadership position within her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. She is fired up about maximizing her second year as a Commodore, and eternally grateful for the opportunity to do so as a member of the Ingram Scholarship Program.