When Jim Davenport got the call about winning a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine grant, he began to imagine how his organization could expand its after-school programs and find other ways to serve the growing Hispanic population in East Baltimore. Davenport is chairman of the board of the Baltimore Urban Leadership Foundation. Known as The Door, the foundation provides after-school, summer camp and other support to East Baltimore students.
“We want to use [the grant] as an opportunity to reach out and engage the Hispanic community in our neighborhood,” Davenport says. “This is quite an opportunity, and it will be a way for us to break the ice.”
The grant was among a dozen recently presented to nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to community revitalization and to expanding education, increasing employment, and improving health and public safety in the communities neighboring The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
In honor of its 125th anniversary celebrated in 2018, the school of medicine awarded a total of $125,000 to neighborhood-based groups at a ceremony held July 24 at the Residence Inn by Marriott Baltimore at The Johns Hopkins Medical Campus. Individual grants ranged from $1,000 to $15,000.
“This event is about celebrating an essential partnership between East Baltimore and Johns Hopkins,” says Paul B. Rothman, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “We’ve been a part of this community for 125 years, and we’ll continue to be a part for the next 125 years. … You all do inspiring work. We wish we could give more.”
To be eligible for a grant, organizations needed to have programs located near The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Applicants submitted detailed proposals for how the money would be used.
The grantees are the Baltimore Urban Leadership Foundation, Caroline Center, Sisters Circle, Friends of Betty Hyatt Park, Baltimore Farm to Clinic Project, Bmore4Kidz, 6th Branch, Adopt-A-Block, Monument Street Merchants Association, Baltimore Curriculum Project, Young Kings’ Leadership Academy and Charm City Care Connection.
“There are so many extraordinary people working to make great things happen in East Baltimore,” says Kevin W. Sowers, president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “This is a wonderful example that illustrates the power of partnering across our community to make a difference, together.”
Lynn Selby, executive director of the Caroline Center, says the school of medicine grant will help support students in the center’s certified nursing assistant program.
“The university has always been an incredible partner,” Selby says. “Not only do they provide us with fiscal support, they also employ many of our program graduates — both certified nursing assistants and pharmacy technicians — and host our pharmacy technician trainees on-site for an invaluable on-the-ground learning experience.”