The BRIDGE community center was started by geography faculty from CSUS and Anthropology faculty from Modesto Junior College in 1989 as a site to get students involved in helping solve community problems and provide community service while they learn about other cultures as well. Several courses in geography use it for cultural immersion purposes. The BRIDGE, located in a low income, ethnically diverse area of west Modesto, has been providing translation and cultural liaison services; health, nutrition, and parenting workshops, ESL and GED classes and tutoring, training in organic gardening, afterschool activities for children and teens, and acculturation and counseling services for Southeast Asian families since 1989. Cambodian, Hmong and Lao clients come to The BRIDGE from Stockton, Merced, Modesto and other areas in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced and Fresno counties. While most of our clients are Southeast Asian, our guiding principle is that anyone who walks through the door and asks for help will receive help from us or a referral to another agency that provides the type of assistance needed.
Over the past 16 years, The BRIDGE has provided services to almost 32,000 Southeast Asian clients. We have also given over 1,000 cultural training workshops and presentations in the broader community. More than 2,500 students have done community service learning, including some graduate research, through The BRIDGE and its client network.