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Tuesday, October 20 Local

LifeBridge honors Fairfield residents for work on Bridgeport youth program

BRIDGEPORT — LifeBridge Community Services honored two Fairfield residents for their leadership on a campaign focused on youth development in the city.

Brendan and Carolyn Miles will receive the Brian Langdon Award for their work on the 2020 Building a Brighter Future Campaign, in support of LifeBridge’s Center for Youth Development in Bridgeport, during a ceremony Saturday afternoon.

Brendan Miles, the past chairman and current treasurer of LifeBridge’s Board of Directors and the chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee, and Carolyn Miles, the former CEO and president of Save the Children, helped LifeBridge raise over $400,000 to support a recently added program focused on youth in the city.

The funding was used to transform a 6,000-square-foot space into the Center for Youth Development, home to the Urban Scholars Program, which offers after school and summer programming for Bridgeport middle school students.

As of this month, the program has provided services to 58 city middle-schoolers since it began in February.

One in three Bridgeport children lived in poverty and 28 percent had experienced “multiple life-altering traumas” before they even turned 18 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, according to LifeBridge.

With the pandemic came unemployment, limited access to educational resources and social isolation.

That’s where the Urban Scholars Program fit in.

The program, which switched services online once the pandemic hit, provides a safe haven for students that offers tutoring, the arts, robotics and leadership development.

With safeguards in place, the program ran an on-site daycare during the summer and is now open for the year-round after school program.

“Brendan and Carolyn Miles recognized the urgent need for youth services in Bridgeport and coordinated with friends, colleagues and family members to help,” LifeBridge said.

Brendan Miles, the past chair and current treasurer of LifeBridge’s Board of Directors and the chair of the strategic planning committee, he played a crucial role in getting the program running, LifeBridge said.

This mission resonates with me because I believe in the dignity and potential of each and every individual on this earth,” said a statement from Brendan Miles. “Bridgeport’s youth deserve the same opportunities and the resources to help them achieve their full potential as every other kid in Fairfield County — and around the world.”

Donations to the campaign can be made at lifebridgect.org/get-involved/donations/.

Tara O'Neill|Breaking News Reporter

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