Bridges Society of America (BSA) is a Los Angeles, California based non-profit organization wholly committed to developing the character of young men in urban centers across the United States. BSA acknowledges and appreciates the myriad of challenges facing disadvantaged youth and recognizes the pivotal role male mentors play in fostering the development of qualities paramount to a young man’s success in 21st century America. BSA’s mission statement proudly pledges to “help young men in urban areas across America build professional and social relationships that help them achieve their academic and professional goals.” The overarching theme is to employ a vast network of like-minded professionals in an effort to empower young men all over the country in creating their own destinies.
Illustrated, the BSA is a platform for young men to recognize and develop their own strengths and transition into upstanding, productive members of society. The Bridges Society’s pillars emphasize education and communication skills as the cornerstone of every young man’s success. A young man must first regard himself with respect in order to command that of his peers. BSA also recognizes the qualities of civic duty and social etiquette as vital to accessing opportunity in the professional world. With an increasingly interconnected world via social media, the importance of a genuine sense of self-awareness cannot be overstated. Moreover, BSA seeks to impart financial guidance. In the bright lights of a consumerist-based economy, it is the Bridges Society’s humble view that a wealth of mind is requisite for wealth of pocket. Finally, with an appreciation for arts and culture, the Bridges Society places great weight on a young man’s individuality. Ultimately, BSA seeks to shape each young man into someone who exudes the aforementioned core values while maintaining an air that is unique to him.
Co-Founder and President of Bridges Society of America, Joss Tillard-Gates, currently serves as the Legislative Director for Jerome E. Horton, Member of the California State Board of Equalization. A Kansas City, Missouri, native, Mr. Tillard-Gates attended the University of Connecticut where he earned his B.A. in Political Science and spent all four years as a member of the Huskies football program. Following that experience, Mr. Tillard-Gates went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Western State College of Law in Orange County, California. His successes in the educational, athletic and political arenas reflect, among other things, discipline and an unprecedented attention to detail.
Co-Founder and C.F.O., Toryan Smith currently serves as the Western Region Sales Manager for Iron Mountain in Los Angeles, California. A Rome, Georgia native, Mr. Smith attended the University of Notre Dame where he earned his Bachelor’s degrees in both Sociology and Computer Applications as a member of Notre Dame’s football program. As a former scholar-athlete and dual degree earner, Mr. Smith personifies accountability and ambition.
Empowering young men across the country to fully realize their career potential is as commendable as it is necessary for the continued growth of the nation. Collectively, these men have made a commitment to foster such empowerment. Their wealth of experience coupled with their unbridled passion for impacting the lives of our future leaders yields, among many benefits, a wellspring of hope. Within its pledge to shape young men and establish a professional network for success rests the Bridges Society’s aim to stand as a beacon for this hope. With the leadership, determination, discipline and ambition exhibited unremittingly by Mr. Tillard-Gates and Mr. Smith, that aim shall come to fruition.