Priscilla Steinmetz

Founder & Executive Director

Priscilla Steinmetz

Priscilla had a passion for serving young people at a very early age. A graduate of Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, her background can best be described as a blend of youth work, business development, and organizational advancement. Over the last two decades, she has reached thousands of teens in both the Chicago and St. Louis areas.  

Priscilla and her husband (Rob) conceptualized and founded The Bridge Teen Center after seeing a growing need in the suburbs for a safe and positive environment where students in the community can be accepted, supported, and encouraged.  Since opening the doors in June of 2010, thousands of teens have benefited from The Bridge’s FREE holistic afterschool programming.  Today, the organization stands as a national leader in the realm of teen afterschool programming.   

Priscilla was the only female contributor to a book entitled If I Knew Then What I Know Now, a guide for new youth workers, published by Youth Specialties and Zondervan in 2009. As a voice for being proactive instead of reactive, Priscilla also regularly delivers energetic messages in junior highs, high schools, and colleges on the subjects of social entrepreneurship, bullying, breaking down barriers, and student’s futures.      

In recognition of the innovative programs provided by The Bridge Teen Center, Priscilla was named an Ambassador for the Afterschool Alliance in 2011. She was the sole representative from Illinois, and one of just 20 selected from across the country.  In that role, Priscilla spoke to representatives on Capitol Hill about the importance of afterschool programs in the United States.  Priscilla remains an Ambassador Emeritus for the organization.   

In 2013, Priscilla received a Business Champion Award from Moraine Valley Community College in the category of Development and Training in recognition of the future-focused programs and services provided to students at The Bridge Teen Center.  In both 2014 and 2015, Priscilla was also named a finalist for the John Maxwell Leadership Award - given annually by internationally-known leadership expert John Maxwell.    

Priscilla is a key contributor to Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin’s Campaign to End Bullying. The multi-faceted campaign received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the US Conference of Mayors City Livability Program in 2015. Priscilla also received the prestigious Richard Scofield Leadership Award from the Illinois Afterschool Network in 2015 as the state’s outstanding afterschool professional.     

Priscilla has a great mid-range shot on the basketball court, loves to garden and cook, and is Martha Stewart’s biggest fan.

You can follow Priscilla on Twitter, @PrisSteinmetz.