Marilyn Aspan inducted into Bridge Builders Hall of Fame
Posted on Oct 14 2014 by The Bridge
On Saturday, October 4th at The Bridge Teen Center’s annual Bullying Stops Here Community Walk, Orland Park resident Marilyn Aspan (age 83) was inducted into the organization’s coveted Bridge Builders Hall of Fame. This annual honor is reserved for one individual who has made a significant impact on advancing the overall mission of The Bridge Teen Center.
Aspan is a retired English teacher who has volunteered on a weekly basis at The Bridge since the organization opened in 2010. Every single Tuesday Marilyn greets students at the front desk, makes herself available for tutoring, and assists with a wide array of administrative projects. She also is an energetic advocate for the The Bridge, securing thousands of dollars in financial support each year through her church (Evangelical Lutheran Church of The Good Shephered in Palos Heights) and other individuals and entities in the community.
Marilyn’s name will be permanently displayed on the wall of The Bridge Teen Center alongside four past inductees: Al Ricchio (of Palos Park), Melissa Ferriter (of Oak Lawn), Mike Lunsford (of Tinley Park), and the late Lucille Persson (of Frankfort). Each year a new inductee is selected by the Founders of The Bridge Teen Center, Rob and Priscilla Steinmetz, based on overall impact on the organization.
“This award is not driven by dollars raised or volunteer hours logged. It’s about honoring someone who has made a difference in the lives of the students we serve - whether directly or indirectly,” said Priscilla Steinmetz. “Marilyn’s commitment to our students and her passion for investing in the lives of teens in our community is unmatched. For us, she was the clear choice this year.”
When the award was presented to Marilyn at the Community Walk on October 4th, Priscilla shared a story about how Marilyn tutored a local high school student who could not pass his military entrance exam. He struggled with the English portion of the test, and came to The Bridge looking for assistance. Marilyn called on her years of experience as an English teacher and tutored the young man for several weeks. Ultimately, he passed the exam. As Priscilla shared, “Had Marilyn not been there for him, it’s likely he would have given up on his dream.”