Baltimore Philanthropic Community Comes Together to Celebrate Students and Teachers
Baltimore, April 22, 2015—On Saturday, April 18, Teach For America—Baltimore hosted its inaugural One Night for One Day celebration dinner at The American Visionary Art Museum. Baltimore philanthropists and hosts Maureen A. and James A.C. Kennedy and honorees Rheda Becker and Robert E. Meyerhoff joined the Teach For America—Baltimore Advisory Board and Host Committee, community members, and educators from the region to celebrate the work and impact of 1,000 Teach For America corps members and alumni and the students of Baltimore.
The opening reception featured student exhibits and a special tribute to honorary event chairs Rheda Becker and Robert Meyerhoff by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, University of Maryland Baltimore County President, and a special violin performance by students of Annie Park, a 2013 Teach For America corps member and a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids instructor. The dinner program included remarks from Teach For America–Baltimore Executive Director, Courtney Cass and board member Wes Moore, as well as individual stories of Teach For America teachers, school leaders, and education innovators making incredible progress in schools and classrooms across the region. Speakers were introduced by a student or other community member whose life they had touched in a profound way.
“Mr. Jammal saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself. He encouraged and inspired me to be a voice for and to give back to my community,” said Jasmine Owens, a Baltimore City Schools graduate and 2014 Teach For America corps member. “Because of him, I joined the debate team and gained confidence in my abilities. Through that experience, I earned a full scholarship to Towson University, which allowed me to fulfill a life-long goal of going to college.” Owens is now a special education teacher at Lakeland/Elementary Middle School and introduced her former teacher, mentor, and Lakeland principal, Najib Jammal, a 2003 corps member.
Celebration dinner attendees left energized and inspired by the potential of this vibrant local movement to ensure all of Baltimore’s students have the opportunity to obtain an excellent education. The event raised over $550,000 in support of Teach For America’s work on behalf of Baltimore’s students.
“One Day requires us to develop and grow this base of 1,000,” said Courtney Cass, executive director of Teach For America–Baltimore. From the moment our corps members join us – whether this is their first time in this time zone or they’ve spent their entire lives in Baltimore – they have the opportunity to be a teacher, principal, elected official, entrepreneur, or social worker who contributes to life-changing outcomes for Baltimore’s students. And Teach For America’s responsibility is to provide the experiences, mentors, and community to make that happen.”
The evening concluded with a moving spoken word presentation by Baltimore’s youth poet laureate, Derick Ebert.
Teach For America has partnered with local public schools since 1992. The nonprofit organization serves as an additional source of effective teachers and helps to build long-term leadership capacity in the community. There are currently 1,000 Teach For America–Baltimore corps members and alumni unlocking the futures of Baltimore’s remarkable students.
For a full list of event supporters, please click here.
Photo captions (photo credits: Ana Isabel photography):
Photo 1: Student Arielle Ennis and 2007 Teach For America corps member Mike Rennard from CHARM literary magazine greet Senator Barbara Mikulski.
Photo 2: Derick Ebert, Baltimore’s first youth poet Laureate, and Wes Moore speak during Teach For America’s One Night celebration.
Photo 3: Teach For America supporters Polly and Bruce Behrens and Aileen and Dwight Taylor.
Photo 4: Teach For America-Baltimore board chair Paul Wolman and executive director Courtney Cass with supporters Polly and Bruce Behrens.
Photo 5: Teach For America supporters Maureen Kennedy, Melissa Pfleiger and Susan Cross.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today, 10,600 corps members are teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.