Attorney and former N.C. District Court Judge S. Quon Bridges spoke to a group of ninth-grade Warren Early College High School students in April as part of a spring speakers’ series sponsored by the Male Mentoring Success Initiative (MMSI) at Vance-Granville Community College.
Bridges received his bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster and his Juris Doctorate from the North Carolina Central University School of Law. He was appointed by former Governor Mike Easley as a district court judge for the 9th Judicial District in 2007. Prior to this appointment, he served as an Assistant District Attorney for 17 years. He began his career working for the North Central Legal Assistance Program before becoming a private practice lawyer. Bridges is currently a member of the Oxford board of commissioners.
Bridges shared briefly with the students about his early childhood years. He told the students that his family was not wealthy and he remembers them receiving subsidized food from the county. He talked about how each one of his siblings was given a wall in their house to post whatever they wanted on that wall. He would cut out pictures of courtrooms and judges to post on his wall. He said that this is what inspired him to become an attorney and eventually a judge.
The students listened attentively as Bridges encouraged them to believe in themselves and not to let anyone discourage them from striving towards their goals and dreams. Bridges went on to talk about his grandmother and the impact that she made on his life. He said that she did not get to see him graduate from high school, but every time he received an award, he thought about her, and he knows that she would be proud of him. One of his proudest moments as a father of three daughters was when he went to speak to students who were in one of his daughters’ classrooms. He knew then that he had impacted her life just as his grandmother had done for him.
In closing, Bridges talked about what a wonderful opportunity that the students have to become successful by attending the Early College High School. He said, “I see in you prosperity over poverty, hope over despair, and opportunity over denial.” He encouraged them to do great things in the world, because they have the ability and intelligence to be anything they want to be.
Above: S. Quon Bridges (right) talks with students at Warren Early College High School.