Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Community Spotlight - FOX 35 News Orlando

Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Community Spotlight: Bridges of Light Foundation

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Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Community Spotlight: Bridges of Light Foundation Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Community Spotlight: Bridges of Light Foundation
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

When there are distractions and complications away from the classroom, it can be difficult for students to remain focused and committed to their education.

Many kids have been abandoned and neglected and as a result it's imperative they receive some attention and guidance from outside help.

This is where organizations like the Bridges of Light Foundation (BOL) and its Educational Tutorial Program step in and provide underprivileged children the assistance they so desperately need.

Recently, BOL obtained a $35,000 grant from the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, a McCormick Foundation Fund (OMYF-MFF), to help reinforce its mission to graduate impoverished and deprived students in Orange County and send them to college to further enrich their lives.

"The Orlando Magic is proud to assist the Bridges of Light Foundation with their Educational Tutorial Program," said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. "As an organization we remain committed to education and believe in the power of knowledge. Everyone deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education."

Over the last 22 years, the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation has distributed more than $17 million to local non-profit community organizations. The OMYF raises community dollars annually through donations, auctions and events such as the Black Tie and Tennies Gala and the OMYF Golf Tournament with matching funds at $0.50 on the dollar provided by the McCormick Foundation.

The money from OMYF will assist Bridges of Light in expanding its curriculum and providing assistance to disadvantaged children who stay in foster care facilities or belong to nearby community centers.

"Because of these extra funds from the OMYF, more children will be able to improve their GPAs," said Lora DeLorenzo, executive director of the program.

While schools, undoubtedly, give students a pedestal to learn and grow sometimes a young mind needs more private tutoring to augment their knowledge and help sustain their concentration.

And what makes BOL so extraordinary is that all of this supplemental education is so easily accessible to the kids. Certified teachers come to the foster care facilities to teach the students, who are between 6-18 years old, English and math skills in a private, one-on-one setting for a minimum of two days a week.

As far as results: they have been spectacular. Since Bridges of Light adopted ETP in 2007, already 25 of the participants have graduated high school and received academic scholarships to several colleges and universities throughout Florida.

During the 2010-11 school year, nine of the students who took part in the tutoring earned a 3.0 GPA or higher and six of them finished with a perfect 4.0 mark.

"Results clearly show that the kids who stay the entire time in the program see incredible improvements in their grades," DeLorenzo said.

To learn more or make a difference with a donation, visit omyf.org

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