Building on 65 years of community and inclusion at Bridgewell

Published: November 7, 2023


In 1958, when parents and community members formed an organization called the Child Guidance Center to support youth in the Lynn Public Schools, their goal was to establish a new and different program that would allow people with disabilities to achieve their fullest potential.

At the time, it was common practice to place someone with a disability in an institution that would meet only their basic needs – away from society – for their natural lifetime. These Lynn parents and advocates wanted more for people with disabilities, knowing that if provided with opportunities and support, they could live fulfilling lives in the community.

Sixty-five years and several name changes later, that group of advocates has grown into an organization with 1,600 employees and more than 100 programs serving 25 communities in northeastern Massachusetts. The mission for Bridgewell, however, essentially remains the same: to inspire hope and empower people experiencing life challenges to achieve their fullest potential.

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