FROM LISA DOWNING SARTORIUS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
BHGH: Opening Doors, Building Futures
This has been Baltimore’s year. Though not necessarily in a good way. We all woke up to front-page news of Baltimore burning. But how many of us lived it? For those of us who work at BHGH, we straddle two realities. The one we go home to each day and the one where we work. Our scholars sometimes straddle up to four – their homes, their schools, BHGH, and their various cultures. Each day I marvel at how they can easily glide from one reality to the next. They have learned to cope, to survive, and now to thrive.
When someone asks me what is BHGH, I always start by saying we are like Iowa. Each day 16 young men and women are given the promise of a new beginning through positive interactions and a fabulous education. We provide the wrap around care a young person needs 365 days a year. Our scholars attend the best schools, public and private, that Baltimore has to offer. Education and support is how you break the cycle of poverty, end violence, and give back hope to so many young people. We do it one child at a time because this is where we can have the greatest impact. I like to say we sculpt a child’s life, and not just touch the surface. The up to 7 years the young person stays with us will greatly impact their future. They will go on to college and get a job. They will provide promise for their families. Think of the impact as a ripple on a lake that spreads and spreads. One child changes, one family changes, one community, and on and on. BHGH has sent ripples through Baltimore communities since 2002 and will continue to do so for many years to come.
As we enter 2016, we have a new Interim Program Director, Kathy O’Hanlon. Kathy paves a new direction for BHGH as she comes with 10 years of experience as Principal of Midtown Academy. She was recognized by Baltimore City Public Schools as a Transformational Principal, a leader who has taken steps to inspire and mentor both peers and students while ensuring excellent teaching and learning in every classroom. After just a few months here, we have seen her ripple effect grow and grow.
Both BHGH houses are at capacity, and a waiting list grows each day…
This is a new chapter for BHGH. One which holds incredible promise and excitement.
So you might ask how can you find out more, how can you get to know BHGH. Why not join the scholars for dinner or a community service activity. Volunteer once, or mentor long term. Directly impact one child, and you will transform their family, their community, and their future.
Lisa Downing Sartorius, Executive Director