Hear from Ava Kemp, an intern with Baltimore Collegetown and former participant of the Baltimore Collegetown Fellowship program.
I grew up in Florida where it is warm and sunny for more than half of the year. I am from a small town, one where you can’t go somewhere without running into a familiar face. Yet, I choose to go to a college 1000 miles away from my home. I was compelled to get away from my comfort zone and really challenge myself. To see other reasons I choose Baltimore, check out my past post. Coming to college in Baltimore was an adjustment to say the least. My first year I decided to make the most of my time in a new city and explored Baltimore at every chance I got.
My sophomore year I heard about the Fellowship program through my school, Goucher College. I applied and was so thrilled when I received my acceptance email. Our class focused on social entrepreneurship and connected us with many social entrepreneurs in the area and creating a project with guidance from the Central Baltimore Partnership. My group created a similar program to PlayStreets within Baltimore neighborhoods. The goal was to provide children with an opportunity to exercise if they did not have access to a park nearby as well as a chance for the community to spend time together.
This 3-credit course runs in the fall semester and continues with a project component through the spring semester. It is not taken for credit in the spring but we do meet with our groups and occasionally as a class on the weekends. Accepted students (who come from 13 colleges in the area) meet once a week at Johns Hopkins University or online.
Through this course, I was exposed to many parts of Baltimore I never would have found on my own. Our class took a trip to Le Mondo, an arts venue to hear a wonderful speaker series. We met staff from Baltimore Corps and heard from a mural artist in the area. We explored the Baltimore Museum of Art and played games such as Factuality, that creatively taught us how structural inequality functions in America.
The Collegetown Fellowship is a way to immerse yourself into the culture of Baltimore and familiarize yourself with the city’s history and people from a number of sectors. This was a chance for me to learn about my community - and an opportunity to discover Baltimore for myself. Prior to my first class I did not know what to expect, but thrilled at the prospect of meeting new students from a range of other schools. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to connect with so many wonderful people. I was able to form wonderful connections and continue to stay in touch with my peers. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone interested in those passionate in change within communities. Apply here!
5 Key Takeaways from the Baltimore Collegetown Fellowship Program
1. Learn about the history of Baltimore
2. Create a network with professionals and students in the area
3. Allowed for a safe space to engage in hard conversations
4. Creating a project to give back to the community
5. Discover new parts of Baltimore
To learn more about the 2021-2022 Cohort, attend a zoom meeting below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org