Much has been written about the opportunity divide in America and even more specifically in Baltimore, Maryland. If you hate to see talent wasted and want to do something about it, there are many ways to get involved.
Because there ARE so many ways to get involved, I looked at what seemed to be the best fit for me: a blend of my first love and first job as a Guidance Counselor and my current career as a management development training consultant for professional organizations. And I found what I was looking for.
Year-Up Baltimore is one of those ways. Year Up Baltimore is part of a national organization whose mission is to provide urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. There are opportunities to become more involved in supporting Baltimore City’s youth as a mentor. You may have seen the piece that 60 Minutes did about Year Up in 2014.
I kicked off this fall giving a talk to the newest class of recruits at Year Up Baltimore about interpersonal networking skills and strategies. I found them to be a group to be excited – not just about the opportunity that Year Up Baltimore provides; they are excited about creating relationships with adults who are supportive, who share in the enthusiasm they have about their future, and who are interested in helping them bridge that large opportunity divide that exists for them.
I found their energy galvanizing me, and I was eager to return the favor. The participants asked a lot of questions and took copious notes. They engaged in the interactive portion of the program with laughter and some self-conscious eagerness, moderating their behavior in order to find their best professional selves. Every one of the participants looked ready for an interview, conscious of how appearance can open or close that first door, and Geoffrey Colbert (Program Manager) and Raphael Rosenblatt, (Interim Executive Director) were there to insure that many of the key points made were threads they would go back to reinforce over the next few months.
At this particular time of year, with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper asking for reflection and the visit of the Pope, who asks us to examine how we could take care of one another, I found a way to take thought and turn into an action. I hope that my actions made a portion of the impact on others that it did on me.
Why posting it as a blog? Because I want to ask you to take the thought about what might be done to make our communities a better place to live for everyone and turn that thought into an observable action that you can do.I’d love to hear about what you are doing.
If we all did something – that would be something.