Bridge the Gap hosted its annual Family Day at SVSU on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Bridge the Gap is an organization that aims to build stronger, positive relationships with law enforcement and the Saginaw community.
At the event, local families and law enforcement officers played bean bag toss, climbed a rock wall, played basketball and more. Law enforcement officers, teens, pastors, school principals and media personalities were invited to the event.
The main event was the annual basketball competition. Athletes and non-athletes played or watched police officers and young men and women from the community work together on the same team.
Ayiteh Sowah, a Bridge the Gap organizer, said the event is important because it helps mend the relationships and perceptions between police officers and the community. It addresses the disconnect between law enforcement and the community.
Sowah said the event helps create personal interactions between law enforcement and the community on neutral grounds. Holding the event at SVSU also introduces young people to the possibility of attending college.
“I think it’s important for SVSU to support this event in a major way,” Sowah said. “We are reaching thousands of families in the Great Lakes Bay Region, and they need to know that there is a beautiful university to attend in their backyard.”
SVSU guard Darnell Hoskins Jr. has been a participant in this event since he started attending SVSU. He said it is an opportunity to connect with the community, law enforcement and giving the public a sense of what SVSU is all about.
“I have been part of this event since my freshman year,” he said. “It has opened my eyes to see how much of an impact law enforcement and college athletes have on the youth.”
He said the event helps expose SVSU’s student-athletes to the community and show them the impact they can have as role models.
“This is an important event for SVSU to support,” he said. “It gives us a chance to connect with the youth around our community. It gives us a chance to build a foundation with the young ones. I always look forward to participating. I learn something new about the youth, community and myself every year.”
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