Bridges At St. Paul’s School Program Guides City Kids To Success

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Ask nearly anyone who is successful and they’ll probably tell you that they didn’t get there all by themselves.

Mike Schuh reports an offshoot of a private school has a long term program to guide city kids toward success.

This summer, four days a week the light rail to Hunt Valley has an extra passenger.

Donovan Taylor is 15. He’s got a 4.4 GPA at City College.

He’s going to succeed. Just ask him.

“I realize this is a great opportunity,” Donovan said.

His destination: business and finance. RBC Wealth Management has taken him under its wing.

“Oh, Donovan is a great kid,” said Jim Smith, vice president.

For the past five years he’s been one of Donovan’s mentors.

This summer, Donovan is in the mailroom, seeing how a business works.

“I feel really professional and mature and I feel like I’m going places in life when I dress like this,” Donovan said.

He fits in at a financial office thanks to a mentoring program he began in fifth grade.

Bridges at St. Paul’s is run by Rob Paymer.

“We were just talking about college,” Paymer said.

Classwork, life skills and mentoring. Filling in the gaps for 170 city kids like Donovan.

“We try to do the best we can to supplement,” Paymer said.

And that’s where the mentors come in. Their success gives them credibility, a knowledgeable voice to help shape a life.

“I feel very fortunate in what’s happened in my life and my relative success, and I just think it’s an opportunity to do things for other people,” Smith said.

“You guys have made me more independent, more accountable for my actions and my mistakes in the program because I’ve definitely made some mistakes,” Donovan said.

Who knows if Donovan will go from the mailroom to the boardroom, but just listen to what he’s learned.

“If you present yourself as a person who’s going somewhere in life then people will believe you and you will get there,” he said.

In addition to the 150 kids in the Bridges at St. Paul’s, the Gilman School now has over 20 students in its New Bridges program.

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