Bridging the gap
New youth driven nonprofit tackles the school budget cut issue with style.
Orange County, CA May 31, 2012 -- In a climate of seniority based layoffs and drastic educational budget cuts, a fledgling nonprofit discovers ways to empower both teachers and students alike. Their annual hip hop dance competition provides a platform for embattled educators, while showcasing creativity from some of the America’s most talented youth.
The nation’s budget cut issues have left teachers, unions, and administrators in a deadlocked game of survival-of-
Enter Happiness is NOW, (HIN) a youth based nonprofit with an innovative solution for the divide between valuable resources, and students who desperately need them. Their philosophy: If the state can’t provide, then we’ll do it ourselves. Their event, The Bridge: Juniors Dance Competition, (Bridge Jrs) amasses southern California’s most passionate youth for a night of entertainment, mixed in with an edge of advocacy.
“Our event brings in kids that are so driven in their love for performing that they’re willing to do whatever they can to express themselves,”
Produced as one of HIN’s special programs, Bridge Jrs is an annual event that provides a stage for local talent, and a voice for educators affected by the current budget shortfall crisis. Highlights of the show include a fierce competition between Southern California’s best dance crews, awards to outstanding students, and special prizes and scholarships to local inner-city youth. Public officials, school administrators, and similar organizations advocating for youth and educators will also be present.
“Being in a dance crew has given both my daughters such an unexpected surge of self-confidence and discipline,”
Both industry advocates and naysayers ponder whether Bridge Jrs will do anything to significantly alleviate the issues facing our students and their educational system, or reinforce HIN’s mission statement to “awaken youth, unlock their power, and ignite their passion.” As is usually the case, both say that only the test of time will tell. Tell that to the HIN staff and everyone in attendance at Bridge Jrs, and they might not be able to hear you. Most may be too busy dancing for what they believe in to notice.
The Bridge: Juniors Dance Competition, presented by Happiness is NOW, takes place Saturday June 9, 2012 at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Student Union. Tickets are $15 pre-Sale, $20 at-the-door. $25 for VIP Section. (Center front section of the venue) For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.happinessisnow.org.