A group of 65 Baltimore teenagers met Nov. 1 at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) to prepare themselves for college and career. The students, all Leadership Fellows in the Greater Baltimore Urban League’s Saturday Leadership Program, forgo an opportunity to sleep in on a Saturday to meet monthly at Baltimore’s colleges and universities. The third session, hosted by UMBC focused on financial literacy as a strategy to prepare for college and career. Wells Fargo facilitated the sessions for the Leadership Fellows and their parents. The day began with a welcome by UMBC associate professor of psychology Shawn Bediako and included a college tour. During lunch, the students and parents met several Meyerhoff Scholars and other UMBC students to learn a bit more about life on campus and the different opportunities available at UMBC and during college as a whole. After the session, the Leadership Fellows expressed a desire to learn more about “being safe with your money” in areas such as credit cards, bank accounts, and protecting against insurance fraud and identity theft.
Now in its second year, the Urban League’s Saturday Leadership Program aims to foster college and career awareness and aspirations while reinforcing the cultural value of “lifting as we climb.” The Urban League’s cadre of Young Professional volunteers facilitates most sessions with Wells Fargo and other expert guest facilitators conducting specialized workshops. Each monthly session follows a similar cycle, with structured time for peer networking, topical workshops, networking with the Urban League Young Professionals, learning about notable Black Baltimoreans who succeeded professionally while giving back to their communities, taking the college tour, and reflecting on the day. Each day is introduced and concluded by a Saturday Leadership Fellow.
Nine Baltimore institutions have partnered with the Greater Baltimore Urban League to host the Saturday Leadership Program: Coppin State University, Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University, Morgan State University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Stevenson University, University of Baltimore, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The program serves Baltimore students grades 8-12 with a citywide reach. Leadership Fellows attend 37 schools and represent 49 neighborhoods.
For more information on the Saturday Leadership Program, please contact Estelle Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit gbul.org.