B-Power: Paving the Way for a Stronger Baltimore
Developing Partnership to Enhance Opportunities for Baltimore City Students
Adelphi, Md. (Aug. 4, 2016) -- University System of Maryland (USM)
Chancellor Robert L. Caret today announced the development of B-Power
(Baltimore Power), a USM-led initiative to work with Baltimore City-serving organizations
to increase education and career opportunities for the city's students.
City has numerous educational challenges, challenges that must be addressed
head on," Caret said. "Given USM's mission of providing educational access and
thereby improving quality of life, we have the ability and responsibility, I
believe, to focus our resources on our state's urban center and its educational
needs for the benefit of the city, its citizens, and especially its students."
enrollment among graduates of Baltimore City Public Schools is among the lowest
in the state of Maryland, having declined from 45.8 percent in 2013 to 41.5
percent in 2015. Using data for the 2014 high school class, the four-year
graduation rate was 69.7 percent in Baltimore City, but 86.39 percent overall
for the state for the 2014 class, according to data from the Baltimore City
Public Schools District Profile and the Maryland Department of Education.
of B-Power will be a partnership between two of USM's urban campuses, Coppin
State University (CSU) and the University of Baltimore (UB), located,
respectively, in west Baltimore and the historic Mt. Vernon neighborhood. This
partnership will forge a wider alliance with three organizations serving the
city: the CollegeBound Foundation,
Baltimore City Community College, and Junior Achievement of Central Maryland.
a centuries-long history as a major East Coast city that has worked through the economic and social disruptions that so many American urban centers experience by making candid assessments of its problems and
working creatively to resolve them. Baltimore has been going through an
extended period of revitalization and B-Power will help ensure that the city's
youth are part of the bright future being built.
organizations working together on B-Power speak to this tradition, as does the
decision by the National Urban League to hold its annual four-day conference in
Baltimore, Aug. 3-6.
collaboration offers a unique opportunity to ensure that Baltimore City
students reach their full educational potential and career development," said
Coppin State University President Maria Thompson. "Coppin State University
looks forward to continuing its mission of offering access to opportunity
through education. This partnership stands to benefit not only students but
also the larger community-we all win when our students succeed."
initiative recognizes the essential need for our institutions to collaborate
effectively to serve the education needs of the greater Baltimore community,"
said University of Baltimore President Kurt Schmoke.
The CollegeBound Foundation-established
when UB President Schmoke was mayor of Baltimore-will bring more than a
quarter-century of expertise in helping the city's students realize their
dreams of a college education. B-Power will work closely with CollegeBound to
help ensure that more Baltimore City youth not only prepare successfully to
qualify for admission to USM institutions, but also earn their college degrees.
"The CollegeBound Foundation provides college advising,
need-based grants, and scholarships for public school students in Baltimore
City to achieve their dreams of a college education," said CollegeBound
Executive Director Cassie Motz. "We look forward to partnering with the
University System of Maryland in its B-Power initiative to help more City
Schools' graduates complete their college coursework and earn college degrees."
important partner will be Baltimore City
Community College (BCCC), which currently provides a significant number of
transfer students to both UB and CSU. Under B-Power, USM and BCCC will work to expand
that much needed pipeline and ensure that a higher percentage of the students
complete their degrees in a timely fashion.
are extremely proud of our collaboration with the B-Power partners," said
BCCC President/CEO Gordon F. May. "At BCCC, we are constantly exploring
ways to reach out to Baltimore's youth in desperate need of access to
affordable training for 21st-century jobs, and this initiative is an
innovative way to accomplish this goal while increasing our ongoing recruitment
and workforce development efforts."
USM plans to partner with Junior
Achievement of Central Maryland, an organization that offers experiential
learning opportunities for K-12 students, creating a bridge between the education
and business communities. Junior Achievement (JA) has embarked on an initiative
to bring a 50,000 square-foot flagship facility to Baltimore City to create an
unmatched, real-world, interactive learning experience where upper elementary,
middle, and high school students can touch and feel what it's like to explore
careers and understand the expectations of the workplace. It is being designed
as a place where students will practice and learn critical thinking skills,
work in teams, and experience real-life successes and failures. Through
B-Power, USM will partner with Junior Achievement to help develop postsecondary
and career readiness pathways.
it's time to redesign the student experience to prepare today's youth for
tomorrow's economy," said Jennifer Bodensiek, President & CEO of Junior
Achievement (JA) of Central Maryland. "This is particularly important in
Baltimore City, where young people deserve enhanced opportunities for learning
and life-long success.
initiative offers a strategic, scalable solution to bring together a fractured
community by leveraging the strengths of key partners. JA looks forward to
serving as a bridge between the education, business, and non-profit communities,
and working collaboratively on this important effort."
B-Power, USM's partnerships with CollegeBound, Baltimore City Community
College, and Junior Achievement will be scalable and will help increase the
number of students entering the educational pipeline and exiting that pipeline
in a timely fashion. This will, in turn, strengthen the
state's workforce development and economic competitiveness initiatives.
USM has long
been involved in a significant number of ongoing efforts targeted at enhancing
opportunities for the city's youth. Examples include CSU's Urban Education
Corridor, which provides an educational continuum for students at Rosemont
Elementary/Middle and Coppin Academy High School. The HEROES Academy at UB has
introduced more than 1,000 Baltimore City high school students to college-level
academic offerings and classroom culture.
of Maryland, Baltimore's (UMB's) Promise Heights initiative has raised more
than $1.7 million in grants to target the high-needs communities of Upton/Druid
Heights, with the goal of improving educational outcomes for youth, and helping
to ensure that families are healthy and successful.
partnership between Lakeland Elementary/Middle School; the University of
Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); and the Northrop Grumman Foundation has a
strong focus on STEM and arts education. And Way2GoMaryland-USM's statewide
information campaign designed to educate more middle students on how to prepare
for college-has reached hundreds in the city.
B-Power will come from many sources. USM has committed funds to support the
outreach and support efforts at both UB and Coppin. CollegeBound has also
committed funding to the effort. In addition, B-Power will seek support from
local foundations and programs like the Next Generation Scholars Program
approved by the Maryland Legislature earlier this year.
Now, the B-Power
partners are developing the specific plan for operating and delivering services
under their new collaboration. They expect to officially launch the initiative in
Contact: Mike Lurie