UMBC power forward Pandora Wilson heard the playful taunt from the middle schooler coming her way and got into a defensive crouch. And when the youngster airballed a 3-point attempt, a smile slowly spread across Wilson's face. Wilson had a basketball reputation to protect on that recent Friday, but more importantly the UMBC senior was delighted to connect with 12 middle schoolers enrolled in Higher Achievement at New Era Academy in South Baltimore.
At nine other partner programs on the East Coast, lacrosse is seen as the master key that can unlock athletic potential, academic improvement and behavioral stability. Program director Jenny Michael pointed to the "cyclical effect" of involvement: When students get invested in the program, their grades go up. When their grades go up, they're more likely to do the work they must to prosper.
Cara Egan, a Loyola Maryland senior on the women's swimming and diving team, founded drowning-prevention program Junior H20unds in 2014 to help bridge this particular opportunity gap in North Baltimore.
Tyler Mains, a fourth-year medical student at Johns Hopkins and MERIT's executive director, was recognized by the Ravens during their game against the St. Louis Rams on Nov. 22. For being selected, Mains and MERIT received a $3,500 grant. MERIT, which stands for Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens, is a program offered to sophomores in city high schools that provides weekly Saturday courses, medical student mentorships and paid summer internships.
As a support counselor at Jubilee Association of Maryland, Jared Ciner worked with the agency to provide services to adults with developmental disabilities. But when he began researching exercise programs for his clients, the University of Maryland graduate came up empty. That's how Ciner founded Spirit Club.
A Baltimore native who was an All-Metro selection at Woodlawn and played at Virginia before joining the Jets as an undrafted NFL free agent in 2003, Tavon Mason started the Tavon Mason Loves the Kids Foundation upon his return home. His foundation's fourth slipper drive is underway.
The Scunny Memorial Paddle, which ran from Sept. 16-21, turned out to be even less fun than Christopher Furst, a marketing director for Power Plant Live, thought it would be. And the novice kayaker didn't go in expecting the 175-mile kayak trip was going to be a day at the beach.
Isabella Firth, president of LifeSpan Network and The Beacon Institute, was just trying to solve a couple workplace concerns. In the process, she ended up creating a circle of charitable acts benefiting students, senior citizens and low-income families.
The Ravens safety is the president of a charitable organization he founded in 2008 that provides scholarships to students of African descent seeking educational opportunities in the United States. HOPE Africa — the first word is an acronym for "Help Our People Excel" — is funds 12 students at colleges across the country.
Long before Kevin Liles became a Grammy-winning songwriter and hip-hop music mogul, well before he reached millionaire status, and began to hobnob with Oprah, Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, he grew up humbly in West Baltimore.
Josephine Grant never knows what she'll find at her doorstep when she comes home. The biggest surprise came when she returned from school one day last spring to a stack of 10 enormous cardboard boxes, each containing dozens of baby bottles.
Notre Dame Mission Volunteers focuses on helping the economically disadvantaged through education, and began in 1994 with just six Baltimore volunteers. It began a partnership with AmeriCorps 17 years ago, and this year supports 390 volunteers working in 23 cities across the nation.
Participants at the assisted living home may not remember her name, but they know Deb Shavitz is the "exercise lady." Her routine is steeped in the fast-paced Zumba dance genre, rooted in South America and growing in popularity across the U.S.
Michele Wojciechowski will take to the same stage Saturday night, where she made her comic debut more than 26 years ago. It will be a benefit performance for her Alma Mater. She and Mickey Cucchiella, a well known 98 Rock personality, have put together "Wojo and Mickey: Heaven Help Us Night of Comedy."
About 120 volunteers packed thousands of boxes last week and more will return to a Sparks manufacturer's plant Saturday for another packing party. They plan to make about 14,000 boxes ready for shipment around the world through Operation Christmas Child, a 19-year-old international charity that expects to ship its 100 millionth shoebox this season.
Proceeds from the fourth annual Flip-Flop Festivus Saturday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Harbor East will help continue research into sarcoidosis, which the medical community calls an under-recognized disease.