Nonprofit Spotlight: Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative | Atmos Energy

Nonprofit Spotlight: Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative

Nonprofit Spotlight
June 8, 2022

Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative is a nonprofit that serves the greater Pearl, Mississippi community with free faith-based afterschool leadership programs for secondary students. Serving an average of 150 students weekly, Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative’s mission is to provide a safe afterschool learning environment that equips students with the necessary tools to be successful, contributing members of society.

“It is our desire to make a positive impact in the lives of our students,” said Lauretha Bellinder, Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative executive director. “Education opens doors, broadens horizons, and sets kids up for success. Adolescence is a critical time for our youth, and that’s why we are invested in a wide range of programs that give our students a strong start, quality out-of-school time, and strong pathways for success in college and in their career.”

With the support of a board of directors and its staff, Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative works with community volunteers who give of their time to mentor students, teach character building and leadership development lessons, and conduct recreational activities. Typical weekly activities also include an inspirational moment, daily snacks, and tutoring.

“Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative expanded their efforts to support third grade literacy,” said Linda Waters, Atmos Energy manager of public affairs. “According to research, third graders who are not reading at grade level are among the most vulnerable to drop out of school. In partnership with Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative, we can help change those statistics and provide the resources to help increase our young readers’ language and literacy skills.”

The Atmos Energy Mississippi team has been recognized as a leading Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative partner for its commitment to Fueling Safe and Thriving Communities. From providing more than 250 backpacks to classroom resources to sponsoring fundraising efforts to providing healthy snacks, the Atmos Energy Mississippi team is invested in Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative’s students.

“Atmos Energy’s generosity gives our students the opportunity and access to thrive,” said Pastor Jamane Williams, Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative co-founder and president. “It is through partnerships like theirs that we are able to improve opportunities for our students and strengthen our community for years to come.”

To learn more about Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative please visit,