The family foundation of Eddie C. Brown, president of Brown Capital Management Inc., has donated $5 million to provide educational and personal support to African-American children in Baltimore's middle schools, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The gift, the largest charitable donation ever to the city's schoolchildren and their families, will fund the Turning the Corner Achievement Program. The first phase of the program will provide academic and family support, including health and social services and, potentially, employment services for out-of-work parents, to seventy middle school students in two of Baltimore's poorest neighborhoods. Although the neighborhoods have not been selected yet, the program will include one from each side of the city. The second phase of the program will help African American middle school students across the city prepare for a rigorous high school academic curriculum.
Brown, 61, the founder and president of Brown Capital Management Inc., one of the nation's oldest black-owned investment firms, involves his wife Sylvia and daughters Jennifer Brown and Tonya Ingersol in decisions related to the family's philanthropy. While the family has made several generous gifts to higher education institutions, this is its first foray into supporting elementary and secondary education.
"I put together a brain trust to talk about how we could help African-American youth in Baltimore who have so much potential but face severe barriers in achieving success. My advisers said the biggest void was in the middle-school ages....I know what it's like to be in middle school and have to struggle. Mine was a single-parent family. My mother never married, and I was raised by my grandparents," said Brown. "We'll try to address everything that acts as a barrier to success."