The Greater Baltimore Urban League’s Saturday Leadership Program (SLP) convened for its fourth session this school year, Dec. 6, at Coppin State University. Troy Miller, Coppin’s vice president of Enrollment Management, welcomed 46 students and six facilitators for wide-ranging activities that included a lively discussion of a great book and a college tour. Students arrived at 8 a.m. with Locomotion in hand, a book by National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson. The SLP session began with a “Freedom Readers” discussion on the book led by Debbie Taylor from the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The discussion covered the life of the author, the poetic structure of the novel, and the themes and characters.
Following that, the 11th and 12th graders created a Life Plan and personal mission statement. Saturday Leadership Fellows identified goals including improving grades, getting more service learning hours, and earning grants for college. Mission statements for these young leaders included using “musical and linguistic talents to touch people’s hearts and make the world a more diverse and culturally accepting place, to becoming a “translator for the UN to try and resolve international conflicts,” and “to empower people to be more than themselves.”
Fellows in the 10th grade and under attended a college fair organized by Way2Go Maryland. The fair included Q&A sessions led by students from Coppin and UMBC, admissions information, and a college fair. Discussion covered work study programs, study abroad, housing, applications, and majors, among other topics. 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. Prior to coming to Coppin earlier this month, Leadership Fellows attended sessions at University of Baltimore, Goucher College, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County. January sessions will be held at the GBUL headquarters, located in the historic Orchard Street Church, and at Notre Dame of Maryland University.