Brittany calls her son Bernard “a BRIDGES baby.”

Brittany was 20 years old when she gave birth to Bernard nearly 2 ½ months early. The tiny boy spent about two months in the hospital before she was able to introduce him to staffers at BRIDGES at Belle Glade. She had started visiting the BRIDGES when she was pregnant, going to Triple P parenting classes.

“They welcome you with open arms,” Brittany said. “I’m able to find the resources I need and Bernard is able to grow up there with toys and books and other experiences.”

Brittany and Bernard also have attended parent-child programs.

“I love the activities they have for me and my son to do together,” she said. “It gives us a chance to get out of the house and see people and get active. We live a couple streets away and sometimes walk there.”

With the encouragement of a parent coach at BRIDGES, Brittany went back to school, recently graduating from a program teaching medical billing and coding.

BRIDGES also helped find child care for Bernard while she was in classes.

“I’ve learned that not everything comes at the moment you hope, but once you are consistent, everything is possible,” Brittany said. “You have to really work for the things you want to do. I’ve had my moments but (BRIDGES staffers) are like, ‘No, don’t give up.’ or ‘Try this in the meantime.’”

“I love BRIDGES. It’s another home to me and Bernard. I enjoy going somewhere I can feel special and always welcomed.”