New Milestone: Over 100 Paper Bridges Chapters

Updated: Apr 29

After being founded in Maryland in 2017, Paper Bridges has reached the milestone of hitting over 100 student chapters. Paper Bridges has grown rapidly since it was founded, with Paper Bridges chapters located across the globe, in countries such as China, India and Australia.

The international Paper Bridges chapters include groups of high school or university students who seek to create a positive change to the lives of orphans, foster children and other vulnerable youth around the world. To achieve this, chapters complete projects, such as sending letters, running donation drives and organizing fundraising events to donate supplies, including personal protective equipment and toiletries.

Chapter Resources

Alyssa Teramoto, Paper Bridges Chapter Director, has played a vital part in Paper Bridges reaching over 100 chapters, as she accepts chapters and provides them the next steps for becoming an official Paper Bridges chapter. In addition to guiding new chapters, she assists established chapters. “I encourage chapters to feel free to reach out to me or the other Chapter Director Kyra Chassaing,” she said. “I feel like a lot of chapters are uncomfortable reaching out, but reaching out and asking questions or raising any concerns is really important.”

Along with the assistance of the Paper Bridges Chapter Directors, another resource provided to new chapters is the Paper Bridges chapter starter kit. The starter kit includes information, including ideas for how chapter officers can lead projects and establish a leadership team.

Success Stories From Our 100 Chapters

Chapters all around the world have shown their passion for helping vulnerable children through many ongoing initiatives. During their school supplies drive, Anderson High School (AHS) was able to collect over 1,500 items for Pathways, a local charity. Pathways is a non-profit social service organization that provides resources to communities in Texas, including services for foster care and adoption. Chapter President Annika Hesse and her team arranged the donation drop-off with the coordinator of Pathways. According to Hesse, because Pathways does not typically receive the supplies that they donated, the coordinator was especially thankful for their help.

AHS Paper Bridges Chapter’s donation drive was such a success, largely due to the collaboration among their chapter members. “My favorite thing has been seeing how students of all grade levels have come together to support such a cause,” Hesse said. “It was nice to see that students were engaged and that they want to participate and contribute.”

The South Delta Secondary School (SDSS) Chapter also had a successful donation drive in their community. With the help of her chapter, SDSS Chapter President Ciana Dawydiuk-Clozza donated over 50 personal protective equipment to Directions Youth Services. Direction Youth Services is a division of Family Services of Greater Vancouver, offering services and programs for individuals under the age of 25 who experience homeless or in crisis.

Overcoming the Obstacles of COVID-19

Despite the success of the chapters, the pandemic has been a challenge to navigate. “COVID-19 has been a struggle for every chapter that has been virtual to stay in constant communication with the members and make it feel li