Freshman students from the College Park Scholars Public Leadership Program spent the spring 2022 semester learning about, developing and running a grantmaking process. Students in the class were given the opportunity to not only study the art of philanthropy but also provide actual grants to nonprofit organizations of their choosing. On May 4, the class hosted a ceremony to award the grants to the selected organizations.
The Public Leadership program, sponsored in part through the School of Public Policy, explores the theory and practice of leadership, empowering students to become social change agents through hands-on public service projects and examination of pressing social, political, and economic issues.
The grant ceremony was a great culmination to the semester because the students got to see the results of all their hard work. The students chose the issues, defined the funding criteria, interviewed the applicants, and made all the decisions. These 70 first-years were really into it and deepened their knowledge of both the issues and the remedies. I am so grateful to both the Do Good Institute and College Park Scholars for making such a rewarding experience possible for these students.Susannah Washburn Director, College Park Scholars Public Leadership Program
During the course, students learned about philanthropy and grantmaking; discussed various social issues and developed Requests for Proposals to support socially focused organizations focused on education, the environment, food insecurity, mental health and youth development. Students led interviews with organizations that best matched their mission and social issue and ultimately awarded a total of $5,000, provided by the Do Good Institute, in grants to the five impressive nonprofit organizations. The organizations will each receive a $1,000 grant; the selected organizations include:
- AppleTree provides free education to three- and four-year-old children. They seek to close the achievement gap using Every Child Ready, an early learning instructional approach that focuses on social-emotional learning, mathematics, language, literacy and STEM.
- Blue Water Baltimore is working to restore the quality of Baltimore’s rivers, streams and Harbor to foster a healthy environment, a strong economy, and thriving communities. Their holistic approach includes planting trees, monitoring water quality, educating residents and students, advocating for environmentally friendly laws and policies, and more.
- D.C. Food Project helps distribute additional food to school children and their families when school meals are not available to them. They work with school administrators, school districts, local businesses, residents and other organizations to raise funds and start getting food to the kids who need it.
- Evolving Minds - founded by Anthony Sartori ‘18, a College Park Scholars alum - has developed innovative and impactful mental health programming to bring students together, prioritize educator mental health and build a resilient workforce for for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
- Maryland Ravens Inc. helps physically challenged and able-body persons build a sense of teamwork, cooperation and community involvement through wheelchair basketball. They are committed to helping low-income physically challenged individuals gain the confidence and skills they need to lead full, productive lives.
- Do Good Institute