BENEFITING: BRIDGE RESTORATION MINISTRY
ORGANIZER: BRIDGE RESTORATION MINISTRY
EVENT DATE: Aug 03, 2013
DUKE KELSO EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP
As a 2012 Bridge graduate, I know the importance of this program and am seeking to give back to this exceptional program that helped me greatly. This year I am riding the 3rd Annual 100 Mile Bridge to Bridge Bike Ride to raise funds for an educational scholarship to help young men who have not completed their education as they are going through the Bridge program. I am trying to raise $10,000 to pay for the program fees of men who need to finish their education during the second phase of the program where most Bridge men begin outside jobs that help them re-enter the workforce and pay their program fees.
TESTIMONY OF DUKE KELSO:
Where was I before becoming involved with The Bridge? Darkness. That's the best way to explain where I was. My life was a wreck. I was homeless, in and out of jail, and a hopeless drunk. Hope was nothing more than a word – it was nothing practical.
I tried everything to change my ways, shy of faith, but with no lasting results.
One day, while walking the yard in jail, a fellow inmate approached me with a simple question: “What's wrong?”
I told him my story and how I was unable to find any light in my life. He asked if I'd be willing to try faith.
Prior to that moment, I would have answered “no.” But something inside me
said, “Go for it!”
My new friend led me in The Sinner's Prayer and off I went.
Before long, I was released from jail and back out in society...drinking and homeless. But no matter how bad I felt, I continued to pray. One day my father found me and said that he had found a program called The Bridge, a faith-based rehabilitation program. I knew then my prayers had been answered.
During my one-year stay at The Bridge, I accomplished many things. But most important was my faith.
Going down the list, I can report that I maintained an “A” average at Monterey Peninsula College. I had my art work displayed in a gallery. I've run two marathons. I'm holding down a job at a local newspaper. I have re-established a positive relationship with my family and friends. I've given back to my community by volunteering at numerous events. I've cleaned up all my legal issues. And I've established a lifelong support group through Calvary Church and The Bridge.
Today I have moved into my own apartment. I'm going to school full time and working for a degree in graphic design. I successfully completed my first long course triathlon (Wildflower) on May 4th. I'm still working part-time at Cedar Street Times and at Tri-Cal. I'm an active member in raising my nieces and nephews. And I still have faith.
I want to give back because I feel it's important to pay forward what was paid to me. I know how important education is, and how it can make a lasting impression on one's recovery. I feel that my testimony can prove that no matter how hopeless things can seem, there is still hope after all.
It has been put on my heart that this is what God wants me to do, to make a difference in other peoples' lives.