“Since I’ve lived, worked, and gone to school here, Baltimore is my home and it’s special to me,” says Aditi Kaji. When Aditi first attended Baltimore Collegetown LeaderShape, she was enthusiastic about working to make the city better, but unsure of where and how to start. “Collegetown LeaderShape gave me a lot of confidence. It allowed me to see that I have the ability to make a difference,” says Aditi.
She began volunteering with the non-profit Baltimore Reads, sorting books. She noticed how many parents and children visited the Book Bank and how important it was to them. She realized that working to improve literacy was a way she could contribute and make a difference. “Literacy is a necessity and allows people to have a voice in their community, yet there are still Baltimore residents who lack basic literacy skills,” says Aditi.
Baltimore Reads provides classes, supplies, and books to children and adult learners. Aditi decided to support its mission by starting a campus-wide drive at UMBC to collect books and supplies, which she hopes will expand into the city.