I love the story of Cinderella. There’s just something magical about a girl meeting her prince charming, overcoming all odds, becoming a princess, and living happily ever after! When I was a little girl, I couldn’t wait to meet my prince charming and have my own “happily ever after” story. Although life isn't like a fairy tale, like most little girls, I used to daydream about my future love story.
When I was thirteen years old, I went to a spend-the-night party at my friend’s house. Her mom had invited a lady to come and talk to us about dating and the importance of saving your heart for the right person at the right time. I remember hanging on her every word. At that time, I had never had a boyfriend, and I desperately wanted to know what it was like. It didn't help that most of my friends had already experienced what it was like to have a boyfriend, and had even been kissed! I wanted to experience those things, too! But, listening to this lady talk about the dangers of dating and how precious your heart really is, made me question everything. I left that weekend with the resolution that I wanted to avoid dating until I met a guy with the qualities of someone I could marry and spend the rest of my life with.
It wasn't always easy to wait, and there were many times that I wanted to get into a relationship with someone. There was even a time in ninth grade that I allowed myself to be called someone's "girlfriend." However, after only a week of talking on the phone and going to one movie together, I ended it. Deep down, I knew that he was not the one for me and that I was not ready to be in a relationship yet.
At seventeen years old, I had my first "real" boyfriend and my first kiss. I was head over heels in love… or so I thought. A little less than a year later, the relationship ended and I was left heartbroken.
Almost three years passed before I entered into another relationship. I did NOT want to go through any more heartache unnecessarily. Then, when I least expected it, I met Joseph! He had all of the qualities I was looking for in a husband and more! Not only was he kind, respectful, and had the same values and beliefs as me, but he always knew how to make me laugh and feel like the most beautiful woman on earth! He was truly my very own “prince charming!"
Now, after thirteen years of marriage to the most amazing man on the planet (he really is!), I am so thankful that I chose to wait for him! I feel that I avoided a lot of unnecessary heartache, and limited the amount of “baggage” I brought into our marriage. By choosing to save myself for him, I honored him as my husband even before I met him. My only regret is that I didn't save all of my kisses for him.
Waiting is never easy, but it can be done! We live in a society that has accepted "dating" as a normal and even healthy part of development. But, is it really? Is
there a better way? I believe there is.
Fine China® (and ultimately Bridgeway) was born because I felt a responsibility to pass on the wisdom that had been given to me so many years ago. If only girls could see that they are fine china, meant to be treasured, protected, and valued, then they wouldn't be content to lowering their standards and being treated like paper plates that can be used and disposed of. No girl deserves to be treated like a paper plate, yet our society and the media tell us that in order to get attention and feel loved, girls must dress provocatively and offer themselves at little to no cost. Unfortunately, when something is cheap or free, it isn't given much value or respect. Time and time again, these girls discover that after meeting someone they thought cared for them, they are tossed away and forgotten like a flimsy paper plate. This shouldn't happen. Regardless of what may have happened in their past (by their personal choice or sadly even against their will), my hope is that through programs like Fine China, these girls will begin to realize that they truly are "Fine China" and deserve the very best! Hopefully, they will discover as I did, that the best love stories are worth waiting for!!
I started Bridgeway Youth Program Specialists, Inc. because I know this is what God has called and created me to do with my life. I believe in the messages of Fine China and Elevate. I believe that this next generation of young people is going to shape our culture and society like no other before. Our mission is to help prepare them for the future by building bridges of hope, vision, and integrity not only in their lives, but in the lives of their families! We have only just begun, and there is still much work to be done! Please consider joining us by becoming one of our community partners or volunteers. We know we can't do this alone!
~Kayse McCanne, M.Ed., NCC
Founder, Chairman, & CEO
Kayse McCanne is a nationally certified counselor and a native of Stockbridge, Georgia. She is a graduate of Georgia State University with her Master’s of Education degree in Professional School Counseling. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Counseling and Human Services from Atlanta Christian College.
Over the past fifteen years, Kayse has worked and volunteered in a variety of settings serving youth and families. She has served as a school counselor, parent liaison, and paraprofessional in Henry County, as well as serving as a youth pastor and camp director for middle and high school teens alongside her husband, Joseph.
In 2011, she started Bridgeway Youth Program Specialists, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides high quality programs and conferences to schools and churches in the metro-Atlanta area. Two of their signature programs are the Fine China Conference for girls and the Elevate Conference for boys. Both programs seek to empower students to make healthy choices and to encourage stronger bonds between students and parents.
A third program, Camp Bridgeway, was introduced in October 2013. Unlike the school-based programs which are non-sectarian, sessions at Camp Bridgeway are taught from a Biblical/Christian perspective. Students from all faiths and backgrounds are welcome to attend. For now, Bridgeway is renting the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center in Covington for these programs, but we are eagerly looking forward to having our own campus one day!
Kayse and her husband, Joseph, have been happily married since September 11, 2004 and live in Locust Grove. After over 10 years of infertility, in 2015 their family became complete when they fostered (and later adopted in 2016) their three amazing kids, AJ, Bryan, and ilysa whom they met through Bridgeway's programs!