Our Story 

How it all started...

Our founder, Kara "Cobby" Bright made a lasting impression on people he met. His commitment to Christ and kids began long before Brightway Center was a reality. As a teacher and coach, Kara saw first-hand the challenges youth face and, over time, became concerned with their moral and ethical character development. Kara was well aware of the powerful connection between the development of strong Christian moral values and sports. This led him to be one of the founders of the Ohio Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in the mid 60’s.  

Later Kara turned his attention to his life-long vision of Brightway Center and the development of new and diverse programs. Sadly, Kara passed away before his dream could be realized but he exacted a solemn promise from four friends that they would turn his dream into reality. Little did these men know that their relationship with Kara Bright would impact them for the rest of their lives.

Expanding the vision...

With faith and determination, Brightway's leadership team forged ahead to make their friend’s vision a reality. Brightway Center sits on 177 acres in rural Rayland, Ohio, so the first priority was to get the property ready. Renovations began in 2009 with the Bright family home and finished in 2012 with the state-of-the-art activity center. Youth programming at Brightway began a year later. That same year the community sent out a cry for help in response to a crisis and Brightway responded by developing training focused on teen ethical standards. In 2013 we began presenting in-school character education training to the districts of Jefferson County, Ohio. The response was overwhelming and when the state offered funding for youth organizations partnering with schools, we were ready. As a grant recipient, we expanded our course offerings and hundreds of 7th -12th graders throughout the county came to Brightway for training on leadership, conflict resolution, dealing with adversity and more and we officially launched our mentor program. Five years later many of the same students are still participating in the mentor program. In 2018 we introduced online life skills courses through the Jefferson County Virtual Learning Academy (VLA). Today students can attend programs at Brightway, in school as well as online. Each year thousands of students participate in our programs and that number continues to grow. 

Where we are headed...

 It has always been our plan to touch as many students as possible. Brightway’s delivery system is flexible, programs are delivered on site, at our facility and online. As we move into the 21st century, we are looking at even more ways to connect. We will be adding secular and non-secular webinars to our program delivery options. Our goal is to provide relevant content that is available anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

Be a part of our story...

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