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Hope Springs Eternal

Thanks to Dasie Bridgewater’s daughter, Verna Wright, what started as a wholesome but informal after-school hangout has blossomed into a thriving student enrichment program

Wright is extremely hands-on and enjoys assisting children with their homework.

Wright is extremely hands-on and enjoys assisting children with their homework.

Verna Wright has a clear vision for the children under her care at the Dasie Bridgewater Hope Center, an after-school program located in the heart of Wabasso: self-sufficiency. “We will not walk around with our hands out for the rest of our lives. We don’t beg for anything we want in life; we work for it.”

Strong words — but imparted with love — and she continues to repeat them almost 18 years into the program.

All students who attend and stay in the program, taking advantage of what the center offers, complete high school. Then about half get jobs, and the others go on to college or trade school. Most in college finish their degrees and many go on to graduate school.

Quite a feat for children who live in some of the most economically challenged areas of North Indian River County.