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Bridges to a Brighter Future honors community partners & former director

Harvey Choplin, center, receives Individual Bridge Builder award
Harvey Choplin, center, receives Individual Bridge Builders award

During the four-week summer residential curriculum for 78 Furman Bridges to a Brighter Future students, five companies and individuals were presented awards for their support of the educational outreach program. The awards were presented during the Bridge Builders Luncheon held July 9 in the Hartness Pavilion on the Furman campus.

Bridges to a Brighter Future is a program whose mission is to give students the tools and support they need to overcome barriers, graduate from high school and enroll in college. Since the program launched in 1997, more than 460 students have participated in Bridges.

The honorees are:

Fluor – Corporate Bridge Builders Award. Fluor has provided grant funding to enhance the Bridges summer science program, and recently hosted the newest Bridges class in a day of speakers, interactive activities and an overview of the global organization.

Jacobs Engineering – Business Bridge Builders Award. Jacobs Engineering provided tutoring for students during Saturday College at Furman, and the company has agreed to allow Bridges students to shadow employees to gain exposure to a variety of engineering careers.

Harvey Choplin – Individual Bridge Builders Award. Choplin was awarded the Individual Bridge Builders award for the multiple roles he has held with Bridges, from mentor and friend to academic coordinator and tutor.

Rob Rhodes – Individual Bridge Builders Award. This award was also given to Rhodes for his service as Advisory Council member, and for acting as a liaison between Bridges and his place of employment, Greenville County School District.

Marjon Ford – Appreciation for All of the Bridges You’ve Built. The award went to Ford for her five years of service in the Bridges program and her teaching, mentorship, leadership, guidance, support and vast knowledge of education, which prepared students for college.

At a separate closing banquet, an award was also presented to the previous director of Bridges to a Brighter Future, Tobi Swartz Kinsell, who led the program more than 10 years, February 2004-December 2014. She now directs OnTrack for United Way Greenville, a program designed to ensure all middle school youth stay on track toward high school graduation. An annual Bridges to a Brighter Future scholarship will also be established in Kinsell’s name.

Learn more about Bridges to a Brighter Future at www.bridgestoabrighterfuture.org, or contact program director Pam Davis at (864) 294-3135, or pam.davis@furman.edu.

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