Bridging the Gap is intended to raise money to support two very worthwhile programs managed by my organization (CLREP, see description below) - Baltimore City Teen Court and Law Links Internship. The mission of these programs is to expose at-risk youth to the law, judicial system, and courts in a positive way, and increase the presence of positive peer influence in their lives.
CLREP (Citizenship Law Related Education Program - I know, it's a mouthful) has been serving Maryland teachers and students since 1975. We manage fantastic programs such as the High School Mock Trial Competition, Law Links Internship, Baltimore City Teen Court diversionary program, Maryland Judicial Teacher Institute, and Summer Centers for Youth.
As soon as people hear "law," there's an assumption that lawyers should be supporting us. Well - they are. In a big way. We have hundreds of lawyers and judges who support our programs every year - contributing thousands of volunteer hours to the kids in our programs. The State and Local bar associations have been very generous with time and money, as have local law firms.
The reality is - education about our government, court system, and law-related matters is slowly disappearing from schools. In order to ensure kids are learning about the basic functions of our democratic government, civility, and effective citizenship, programs such as Teen Court and Law Links are more important than ever.