The Greater Baltimore Urban League’s Saturday Leadership Program (SLP) convened for its seventh session this school year on February 14th, 2015, at Loyola University Maryland. The program, which is in its second year, is city wide, and includes 102 8-12 grade students from 40 schools and 49 neighborhoods. Each month sessions are led by Young Professionals of the Urban League in different Baltimore area colleges and universities, all accessible by public transportation.
Each session students sacrifice a weekend morning by meeting up at 8 am for a day of workshops and tours. At Loyola, the group was welcomed by Dr. Marc Camille, the VP of Enrollment. The SLP fellows in 8-10th grades were engaged in a workshop were they learned to tell their own personal story in the griot tradition. They were led by Mama Sandi, of the National Association of Black Storytellers. After learning what elements make up a personal story, some fellows performed their stories for the group.
At the same time, 11th and 12th graders learned about networking and informational interviews, as they pertain to both college and career success. In these sessions, they had to chance to practice with professional volunteers from Volunteering UnTapped and the Greater Baltimore Leadership Association (GBLA).
At lunch the students also got to hear from guest speaker Lisa Harris Jones, a successful lobbyist for the State, as well as the Baltimore and Annapolis regions. Mrs. Harris Jones is co-founder of the Harris Jones & Malone firm. As a successful Baltimore native, she inspired the youths by telling her own journey to success. She also impressed upon the fellows the importance of always presenting yourself in your best light, and networking, because you never know who is in the room. Students then got a chance to tour Loyola’s beautiful campus, including dorms and the theatre, with college student guides.
In addition to this most recent SLP sessions, Leadership Fellows attended sessions at University of Baltimore, Goucher College, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Coppin State, and Notre Dame of Maryland. The next SLP session will be held on March 14th at Stevenson University. Students also have the option of attending a free theatre/dance workshop given by the BOOM Theatre Company on Feb. 21st.
The Saturday Leadership Program is supported in part by State Farm. For more information on the Saturday Leadership Program, or to get involved, email Estelle Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.