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Advancing Educational Equity: A Message from Lisa Raffel, Executive Director

At Bridge the Gap, we are deeply committed to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. As the Executive Director of Bridge the Gap, I am honored to share thoughts about why this is so important to the future of young people and our country.
At Bridge the Gap, we are passionate about advocating for students furthest from opportunity. We work tirelessly to ensure that every child has access to the resources and support they need to succeed. Our vision is to create a world where a child’s future is not limited by their background, but instead shaped by their dreams and potential. Through innovative programs and unwavering commitment, Bridge the Gap is making this vision a reality.
The Importance of Educational Equity
I believe in the transformative power of education to disrupt entrenched inequities. In today’s world, too many young people’s futures are determined by factors like skin color, family income, gender, and zip code. At Bridge the Gap, we work to change these patterns, ensuring that all students have abundant opportunities. By providing both educational resources and social-emotional support to students in Marin City and Southern Marin, we are dedicated to fostering a bright future for all students.

Key Programs Driving Impact
Our commitment to educational equity is exemplified through our key programs:
  • Individualized Academic Support: Through our partnership with Sausalito Marin City School District (SMCSD), we provide crucial literacy and math instruction, enabling students to progress faster than the national average. I am proud to share that in math, our students’ growth was in the top 10% nationally.
  • After-School Enrichment: Our programs in music, art, sports, and more nurture diverse talents. For example, one of our students won an award at a county-wide poetry slam, showcasing the power of these opportunities to inspire confidence and creativity.
  • College Preparation: Our expert advising ensures students can enter and graduate from higher education without prohibitive debt. Impressively, 80% of our seniors meet A-G requirements, qualifying them for UC and state universities, far outpacing the state and Marin County rates.
Highlighting Student Success
The success stories of our students highlight the impact of our work. Supported by dedicated adults and essential academic and socio-emotional resources, our students have the agency and skills to transform their life trajectories. Their achievements demonstrate what is possible when educational equity is prioritized. Fatima, highlighted in this 3 minute short film, is one of many students who exemplify why this work is so important.
Expanding Our Reach
Looking ahead, our new three-year strategic plan calls for expanding Bridge the Gap’s impact beyond Southern Marin to reach more marginalized communities within Marin County. Over the summer, we will be sharing more details about our plans to serve more students who need us most and equip them with the tools needed for success in school and life!
Join Us in Making a Difference
Our vision for the future is clear: a world where educational equity is not just an ideal but a reality. If this resonates with you, I invite you to partner with us in this crucial work. For more insights and updates, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and join us on this transformative journey toward educational equity.