Through the Baltimore Community Fellows program, ten social entrepreneurs and innovators will each receive a $60,000 grant over eighteen months to work on a self-created project designed to revitalize an underserved neighborhood in the city and/or improve youth outcomes. Launched in 1998, the program identifies talented and committed social entrepreneurs, offers them technical assistance and capacity-building resources to enhance the impact of their work, and provides them with access to a dynamic network that, with the latest additions, now numbers two hundred fellows.
This year's cohort includes social entrepreneurs who are helping people with mental illness navigate the criminal justice system, creating a platform to help members of the trans community find safe emergency housing, and building wealth and careers through carpentry training. One fellow, Ciera Daniel, will use her grant to establish an afterschool leadership development program for African-American boys at City Springs Elementary Middle School. Another, Eric Fishel, will use his grant to convert vacant lots into mixed-use spaces that help conserve the city’s greenspace, improve local ecosystems, and rehabilitate blighted areas. And a third, Aarti Sidhu, will use her grant to provide legal representation to Baltimore school children caught up in suspension or expulsion proceedings.