The Bridge Teen Center is an innovative grassroots nonprofit community center that was designed around the interests and needs of teens in the suburbs. We are located in Orland Park and serve teens and families from all over the Chicago Southland and Northwest Indiana area. Our mission is to provide free programs during after-school and unsupervised hours where students can develop mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually in a safe environment. The Bridge Teen Center is a place for students not just to be, but to become.
Our programs are offered in five different program "buckets":
The Bridge Teen Center serves students in 7th-12th grade, and also provides monthly programming to help parents navigate through the teenage years. Students can begin attending Bridge programs during the summer they are going into 7th grade, and can continue through the summer after they graduate from high school. In keeping with our mission to be a safe place for young people, The Bridge is managed by experienced professionals who are supported by well-trained and pre-screened adult volunteers. For the safety of our students, The Bridge adheres to a very strict "teens only" policy.
In 2011, The Bridge Teen Center's Founder and Executive Director, Priscilla Steinmetz, was named an Ambassador for the Afterschool Alliance, a national advocacy organization. As part of her Ambassadorship, Priscilla spoke to members of Congress on Capitol Hill about the importance of funding for afterschool programs all over the country. The Bridge Teen Center was honored to receive this distiniction in recognition of having one of the most unique and innovative teen-exclusive afterschool programs in the nation.
The Bridge is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that receives no ongoing federal or state funding. Our financial support comes from individuals (41%), foundations (29%), companies (20%), and churches (10%) in the community. Our 5,000 square foot facility in Orland Park was built almost entirely through donated materials and volunteer labor. Our free programs for students are offered on Tuesday-Thursday afternoons, and on weekend nights. On weekend nights, live entertainment is offered in "The Garage", The Bridge Teen Center's official music venue. For more information about our free programs and events for teens, check the calendar on this website.
Current Program Magazine
Check out all the free programs and events at The Bridge Teen Center this semester (PDF).
Downloadable postcard about the BTC that you can share with others (JPG).
Student Membership Application
Every student needs a student membership application on file (PDF).