Support for Families

Kirkwood Scholarships


We have generous donors that believe in the power of higher education.

Bridgehaven receives a yearly donation designated for scholarships for clients attending Kirkwood. Clients in the Earn While You Learn program have the opportunity to complete an application, essay, and interview with us. Each year, we are blessed and inspired by the stories of goals, overcoming obstacles, reliance on God, and the power of determination.

This year, we had three applicants apply for the scholarship, and all three were awarded amounts that complemented other grants and scholarships they were receiving. Two clients received Kirkwood scholarships through Bridgehaven last year and can now continue their education in the fields of nursing and human services. They have been very successful in their programs with honors and high recognition! Bridgehaven is so proud of them and honored to be able to walk alongside them in their journey.

Following are portions of their stories, motivations, and dreams surrounding their educational goals. Join me in celebrating and offering up thanks and praises for these people and their educational desires.
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Teen Conversation

As the clients who walk through the doors of Bridgehaven get younger and my son gets older, I feel like my worlds will soon collide. Wait…that doesn’t sound right. What I mean is I have to start looking at my son, my baby, as a potential client. He hates when I call him my baby. I do it all the time on social media and he is like, “Stop, mom. I am not your baby.” Ah, buddy, you are absolutely wrong. Despite the fact that you grow taller than me daily, you will always be my baby…the one your dad and I prayed to God for for years and years. But you are right. You aren’t a baby. You are a young man. And that scares the crap out of me.

Parenting a teenager is not for the faint of heart. I say this like I know even though mine has only been an actual teenager for a few months. The facts are not pleasant to look at. According to the most recent CDC findings (cdc.gov) reported in the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance 2015 report, nearly 10 million new STDs reported each year were among young people between the ages of 15-24; nearly 230,000 babies were born to teen girls aged 15-19 in 2015; 20% of surveyed students nationwide had ridden in a car or other vehicle one or more times with a driver who had been drinking alcohol; 41% of surveyed students had texted or emailed while driving a car; 22% of students surveyed had been in a physical fight one or more times; over 20% of students had been bullied on school property and 15.5% electronically bullied (email, chat rooms, social media); 14.6% of students nationwide had made a plan about how they would attempt suicide; 63% have tried alcohol and 44% had usually obtained the alcohol they drank by someone giving it to them; 21% were offered, sold or given an illegal drug. Kinda makes you feel sick, doesn’t it?
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Back to School

“Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire.” — W.B. Yeats

For the past decade, a rich practical way of sharing the gospel has been available for families through the Back to School Supply Distribution program. This annual event offers support, encouragement and provision in the lives of parents and children in the Earn While You Learn program at Bridgehaven. Client Support will be accepting school supplies that will support our active clients in the Earn While You Learn program for this coming school year.

The goal and prayer for the Back to School Distribution is to ease the financial burden and stress for families, especially single-parent households, to promote community connectedness and establish Kingdom demonstrations of God’s goodness.

The Earn While You Learn program is a transformational model that promotes growth, learning, healthy relationships and accountable support. Clients earn material assistance and yearly benefits, such as school supplies by attending empowerment-focused classes (i.e. life skills, parenting, relationship, and Bible studies).
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Rooted and Built Up

On March 17th and 18th, Cedar Rapids was blessed to host a Beth Moore Live conference; a faith gathering of over 2,500 women. Bridgehaven received several tickets for clients who wanted to attend.

Beth Moore does 12 yearly conferences and extensively prays and studies specifically for the community and women she will be teaching. Each conference is unique and dependent on the leading of the Holy Spirit. When Beth was praying and preparing for the Cedar Rapids Live event, she received the message of “Taking root in the family tree of God.” As a Bridgehaven community, we were thrilled to receive a great confirmation of our mission and vision through this event.

Rooted for Life

As we celebrate and settle in to our new space for Client Support, I want to draw your attention to the fresh identity, appeal and heartbeat of Client Support: being “Rooted for Life.” Cheryl Klopfenstein, Client Support Assistant, blessed us with her creative art skills and brought to life a vision of “strength” in the Rooted for Life mural (shown above). It is our desire and prayer that you would experience and encounter love and establish a firm, rooted faith foundation in Jesus. – Excerpt from January 2016 Good News (Client Publication)

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The Ring


I don’t like to share. Ask anyone and they will confirm that. I consider myself generous but try to take one of my Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs and you might think differently. One thing I never imagined sharing with another woman was my son. When I brought K home from the hospital, I thought I would be the only woman in his life until he started dating. God must have smiled at my dreams because He knew there was a lesson coming for me.

Divorce was also something I didn’t see happening to me. But like many people, it did and I survived probably the most painful time in my life. Not once during that time did I consider that my ex-husband would have a new wife…someone who would be a step-mom to my only child. It was enough to get through the days without adding another level of pain and confusion, I guess. When he let me know he was getting re-married, it put me into another tailspin I didn’t imagine. Even though I had put the relationship behind me and knew we were better off apart, it was more agonizing than I could have imagined. With the help of my faith, family and friends, I lived through a couple of really dark weeks.
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Learning Through Play

Godly Play in the classroom

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3).

Spirituality. Quiet. Worship. Sacred. Contemplation. These are not words normally associated with trying to teach children about God. But they embody the spirit of the new Godly Play curriculum that we are using in our Children’s Ministry program.

Bridgehaven’s mission of “empowering choices for life through Christ-centered education and support” is not just meant for parents. It is also our desire to share the truth and love of God with our client’s children. Godly Play teaches children to listen for God and to make authentic and creative responses to God’s call in their lives. We are working on incorporating this curriculum into our Children’s Ministry program for those 3 years and above.
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A Godly Marriage

A Godly marriageFebruary! The season of love, romance and all things pink and red! (Ohhh, how I love all things pink, I really do!) This sweet season of giddiness, googly-eyes and constant hand-holding means one thing; Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Honestly, I’m not the mushy type anymore, but I used to be. Now, there’s just not a lot of opportunity for mush. Between rushing from here to there, managing a busy family schedule not only diminishes the time available for the lovey stuff but doesn’t necessarily leave you in the snugly mood. But when Valentine’s Day comes around each year, those butterflies in my heart are awoken and ready to profess my love to my love.
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We Are a Family of 6

“We are a family of 6; we have been married for 1 and a half years and together for 5 and a half years. We have a 10 year-old son, 9 year-old son, and 6 month-old twins. We learned about Bridgehaven through a friend who attended Earn While You Learn classes. Our friend knew of our struggle with having new twins; the financial burden, the emotional depletion, and the lack of support. Our friend encouraged us to sign up for classes and receive the material benefits, as she shared her personal testimony of value from Bridgehaven.

My husband works and has a good job, but we don’t qualify for assistance. We are above the line to receive some assistance. We live paycheck to paycheck and our money is tight. We needed something to help ease the burden of having twins. We would spend $30 or more a week just on diapers.

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For The Single Mom on Christmas

For the Single Mom at ChristmasMaybe this is your first Christmas as a single parent; maybe it is another in a long line. Maybe you’re in the midst of a custody battle and you won’t get to spend December 25th with your kiddos this year. Maybe you’re a widow, and every Christmas seems to be more difficult than the last. Maybe you’re struggling to make ends meet and you won’t be able to buy that gift your child has been asking for. Regardless of what brought you here, I want you to know I’m praying for you, and you aren’t alone.

I never thought I’d be a single mom. Actually, I hadn’t even seriously considered being a mom at all. About two years ago, I was living about as far from God as you can imagine. I was at the peak of a seven-year drug addiction and losing control of my life. I was in and out of homelessness and barely hanging on to the job I’d gotten after graduating from college.
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Leading Many to Righteousness

shineEach semester we choose class topics and materials for our Earn While You Learn program prayerfully and strategically. The class schedule is laid out to empower clients with knowledge that will promote healthy families and relationships, emotional health, and spiritual truth.

Our exciting and abundant fall class lineup exemplifies all of these vision points for Client Support. Let me introduce you to just a few of our classes and how they are initiating a journey of personal, cultural, and generational reformation.

“Reformation, like education, is a journey, not a destination.” Mother Jones

Screen Time

This class focuses on healthy family guidelines surrounding technology usage and exposure and is especially relevant in today’s society. Our class instructor, Jasmin, teaches the effects of technology on neurological development in children and identifies common myths of technology while helping parents to establish truth, safety, and fun parameters in using technology.

A client taking this class says she has recognized the value of “play” and “interaction” with her children. Prior to this class, her children would watch videos of other children playing. The parent purchased the toys in the video and realized her children lacked skills of play and enjoyed watching other kids play. What a turning point for this family and for generations to come!

His Story

Jo, one of our long-time instructors, is teaching this 10-lesson topical study covering fundamental beliefs and practices of the Christian faith. This class provides biblical answers to life’s most important questions, including “Who is God?”, “How can we be saved?” and “How shall we then live?” It is designed for believers at all stages of growth.

Clients in this class are excited about learning how to look up scriptures and how to apply the Bible’s truth to life issues. Clients are posting scripture in their homes and teaching their children about God’s truth!

Buy. Eat. Live with ISU Extension

This new partnership and class with ISU is a 9-week course taught by Donna, focused on learning how to budget and make healthy meals for the family. Donna teaches food safety, how to meal plan, provide new recipes for families that are healthy, cost efficient and broaden ideas of cooking with fruits and vegetables.

Dare to Discipline

Sandra teaches this class designed to help parents lead their children through the tough job of growing up. This practical, reassuring class teaches parents how to meet their children’s needs of love, trust, affection and discipline.

Several clients have recently encountered Jesus in a profound “first love” experience. They are learning, growing, and walking out their faith through parenting and asking great questions. This has led to a follow-up discipleship class.

IPAK (Influential Parents Accountable Kids)

Pastor Mark does a great job of teaching IPAK, which is based on the Love and Logic parenting approach. Love and Logic is a process by which children grow through their mistakes and learn from the consequences of their choices. There are two basic rules in Love & Logic:

  1. Set firm limits in loving ways without anger, lecture, threats or repeated warnings.
  2. Set limits using enforceable statements, regard mistakes as learning opportunities, and resist the temptation to nag.
Prenatal

Joy is teaching a 13-week condensed version of our 22-week curriculum that covers the entire length and development of pregnancy, labor, delivery, birth, and breast/formula feeding. We celebrate and honor those in the class with a group baby shower on the last day of class. Those that qualify through attendance, can receive a crib or car seat. Bridgehaven is very pleased to be able to offer this level of gift made possible through a grant.

Baby Basics

This 8-week course led by Cindy goes through a baby’s first 12 months of life including social, physical, and emotional developments. Topics include: teething and colic, when to introduce foods, sleep, and home safety, infant massage and sign language. A guest sleep consultant shares helpful practices to help establish routines.

Conversational English

This course is for international clients who desire to learn the written and spoken English language. Our instructor, Shawna, uses creative means to demonstrate and teach American culture as well as learn customs, values, social situations, history and holidays.

ESL

English as a second language is for our Hispanic clients. Lilana teaches the written and spoken English language and also teaches a bible study in Spanish.

Clients in both ESL and Conversational English have graduated and are employed!

Dawn Michaels

Dawn Michael

Director of Client Support