Bernard Maxwell is a Bridge kid. He has grown up in the Columbine Housing Developments and has spent numerous hours at the Bridge Project throughout the years.
Bernard is a 7th grade student at Kipp Sunshine Peak Academy. Bernard’s favorite subject in school is science because it is a mixture of math and you also get to see science labs. One day Bernard hopes to go sky diving, but for now, he has his feet planted on the ground and his mind on his studies.
This year marks Bernard’s fourth year of tutoring with his Bridge tutor Jan Podall. Bernard says, “I like tutoring because you get to feed your brain.” Jan and Bernard spend their tutoring hours working on Bernard’s homework and laughing at each other’s jokes. Recently, Bernard’s tutor has joked that Bernard is getting smarter than she is. For both Bernard and Jan, the academics are good, but their relationship is the highlight of their time together.
Bernard hopes to be an entrepreneur and Jan supports him in his goals and dreams of discovery. With caring adults like Jan, who knows how far Bernard will go in the direction of innovation and invention.
Jan Podall is a volunteer with the Columbine Bridge Project. Jan is extremely involved in the community, yet she always finds time to dedicate to her Bridge student. Jan enjoys the opportunity to influence a great entrepreneur of the next generation.
Jan Podall works as an independent oil and gas land consultant at EOG Resources, Inc. She also spends much of her time volunteering with different agencies, but once a week, she comes to meet with her Bridge student Bernard. Jan believes that, “every child should have many positive role models and adult mentors in their lives and Bridge provides that.”
Jan and Bernard have laughed and learned together for over three years. This year, marks their forth year together as tutor and tutee. At first, tutoring was about the academics, but as their tutoring relationship grows, so does their friendship. Jan and Bernard both have good senses of humor and they enjoy working together. “My tutee, Bernard, is a delight to interact with so spending time with him is the best part of tutoring.”
Jan and Bernard have built a relationship that has positively impacted each of their lives forever. Jan’s commitment to Bernard is clear through their bright smiles and laughter as they build a relationship through academic foundations.