BridgeUP:FILM is an after-school scholarship program for 9th-12th grade young women that provides training and mentorship in journalism and visual storytelling. We teach video production, reporting, and storytelling skills to help our scholars tell meaningful and important stories in their communities and aspire to be leaders in their field.
BridgeUP:FILM is funded through The Helen Gurley Brown Foundation, and created as part of the Glassbreaker Films initiative at The Center for Investigative Reporting. Our goal is to combat the lack of gender representation in film and media. Working in small, collaborative groups led by industry leaders, our scholars learn to use professional equipment to create and broadcast their own short films.
BridgeUP:FILM is also part of the BridgeUP programing, powered by the spirit and generosity of Helen Gurley Brown.
Born in 1922 in Green Forest, Arkansas, Helen Gurley entered a world in financial freefall that held very few options for women. As a teenager, she moved to Los Angeles, and sent money back to her mother Cleo and her sister Mary in Arkansas for years.
Helen worked impossibly hard. She was a Mad-Men style secretary at firms in LA until her writing skills were recognized, and she was promoted to a copywriter -- one of the few female copywriters, and one who advanced quickly.
She stayed unmarried longer than most women of her generation, favoring independence and the grind of hard work. In 1959, when she was almost 40, Helen Gurley married David Brown, a partner who recognized and supported her talents.
In 1962, Helen published her first and bestselling book Sex and the Single Girl -- soon followed by Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.
Helen revitalized and remade Cosmo with phenomenal success as the chief editor for 32 years. Again, she was one of the few and earliest women in her position, and she took charge as a pioneer for women in journalism and publishing.
In Helen's later years, she came to be involved with other Hearst employees in a decade-long project with 20 kids from the Bronx, called "The Outsiders Mentorship" Program.
BridgeUP has its roots in that program.