[Champion Profile] Family Bridges Promotes Healthy Relationships
"When we come together toward a common goal, our sense of community is fortified and we grow tall together.” — Alicia La Hoz, PsyD, Family Bridges Founder and CEO
Dedicated to helping families thrive
Since 2006, Family Bridges has been dedicated to promoting healthy marriages, relationships and families in the Chicago & Phoenix areas. And they’ve done an amazing job of helping people develop the skills they need to maintain strong family relationships and build vital, thriving communities, all while remaining true to cultural and spiritual values.
Partnering with over 1,000 organizations, Family Bridges hosts hundreds of workshops for families, couples and singles throughout the year, not to mention family-friendly events, retreats and marriage support, such as Marriage 911 and The Love Challenge Conference. In addition, Family Bridges also spreads family-friendly messages with their popular radio novela ¡Qué Gente, Mi Gente! and their theatre production Los Secretos de Santa Mónica.
And the importance of promoting healthy relationships simply can’t be overstated. The work of Family Bridges has directly resulted in lower divorce rates, stronger family bonds and happier home lives for both parents and children. And in turn, this translates into children who are more confident, well-adjusted and who do better in school and life.
Peace, love and bonding
The great work of Family Bridges is truly revealed in the story of Patricio Briceño and Norma Alfaro.
Thirteen years into their marriage, Patricio and Norma were about to call it quits. Their relationship was plagued by fights and domestic violence. In a last attempt at change, they began attending St. Pius Church where they were referred to a Family Bridges couples workshop. Patricio was impressed with the classes. Everything the instructor said applied to his life. The teachers challenged him to change and gave him tools for more peaceful and productive communication.
“Before, I lived in darkness. Now, I have a light and safe way to the future.”
Norma also started attending a women’s group where she was finally able to talk about the difficult realities of her marriage. Through the classes, she learned to better understand men—especially the “machismo” mindset. She met other women facing similar struggles. As a result, Patricio and Norma improved their communication and restored trust. They even started going on dates again! As their bond with each other strengthened, they were able to pull their family back together. They asked their daughters for forgiveness for their old behavior patterns, and a new healing work began in their family. “Before, I was completely unhappy,” Patricio says. “Now, I am happy.” Norma added, “Before, I lived in darkness. Now, I have a light and safe way to the future.”
And the positive changes in the lives of Patricio and Norma are just one of many Family Bridges success stories. Through their workshops for couples, families, individuals and high school students, Family Bridges has made a positive impact in many people’s lives and continues to strengthening the foundations of our society for the good of men, women, children and communities as a whole.
Reaching more people, more effectively
Family Bridges uses community facilitators to teach their content and has increased the reach and effectiveness of their programs by incorporating Gloo as a tool to support engagement and continued learning between their facilitators and attendees. They have built all of their facilitators' manuals and tools into Gloo in an interactive format. So, rather than track down and print everything before a class, the facilitator finds everything on the app, uses the app as a guide during the class session, onboards their class, and then uses it to engage with their class post-session about the content.
A unique example of how this works is evident with their theater events. Attendees are prompted to download the app where they can connect with the characters, view content that helps them explore themes from the show, and learn more about Family Bridges. What once was a singular event, now has the potential to bring people more deeply into learning and community.
For more, visit familybridgesusa.com.