Baltimore Legacy Builders launch youth empowerment

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Brittany Young, founder of B-360 STEM program, left, Darren Rogers, founder of I Am Mentality, center, Tonee Lawson, founder of TheBe.Org. These three organizations have partnered to form “The Collective,” that is focused on youth and young adult empowerment. (Courtesy photos)

By Reginald Allen II
Special to the AFRO

Recently, the Baltimore Legacy Builders Collective was launched. The goal of this organization is, “to provide 100 hours of training, transferable skills and empowerment to 1,300 youth and young adults in the Baltimore metro area over the next year.” “The Collective” is a partnership between three Black-led youth empowering, non-profit organizations: B-360, I am MENtality, and The Be.org.

According to a press release, the Collective wants to fundraise $30,000 to support their initiative. In 2019, The Collective was awarded a grant from the T. Rowe Price Foundation for hiring and programming needs. However, it will be competitive to raise money while COVID-19 relief funds are active. “As three Black-led organizations with limited resources it’s been traditionally harder to reach major funders on our own,” said Brittany Young,
co-founder of the Collective and founder B-360. “We’ve seen funding priorities shift to COVID relief this year and that’s put an added strain on not just on our programming, but funding as well.”

Besides the Collective’s mission and fundraising goal, announcing a chief development officer is another goal they want to fulfill by early 2021. Also, among the three founders are three advisors with backgrounds in community engagement as well. Robbin Lee, the executive of Baltimore Homecoming; Chelsea Brown, a graduate public policy student at the University of Maryland; and Matthew Reeds, founder of the Reeds Fund. These three
volunteers are focused on networking for the Collective.

More about the Baltimore Legacy Builders Collective partners: B-360 is a motorbike advocacy program that delivers STEM education and workforce training. The organization hosts traffic safety and bike expos and advocates for safer, more available options for Baltimore’s motorbike riders. More information at https://www.b360baltimore.org/.

I Am MENtality — an empowerment project focused on young men ages 5 to 18. The organization provides mentoring and counseling, school based programming, and workshops. More information at https://iammentality.com/.

The Be. Org — an out-of-school program focused on youth development. They currently provide a girl empowerment program for middle school age students; a college admissions and financial aid program; and a virtual social emotional learning program for children of all ages. More information at https://www.thebeorg.com/.