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OSI-Baltimore Awards $400K to Seven Baltimore Residents to Help the City's Underserved

An acclaimed comedian and mother of three will take young women from Park Heights on a journey through time to study their rich African and Native American ancestry and heritage. An attorney will work to protect low-income residents who have been victims of creditor abuse by providing training, assistance and co-counseling services to other attorneys who take on the victims' cases. A woman who learned to love skateboarding as an adult will mentor young Baltimore skateboarders and teach them leadership and self-advocacy skills, as they work to get a skate park built in the city. And a recent Johns Hopkins graduate will pair graduate psychology students with youth charged as adults to connect them with mental health, case management and rehabilitation help while they await trial.

These are just four of the seven people whom the Open Society Institute-Baltimore selected to be 2010 Baltimore Community Fellows, as the program celebrates its 13th year of supporting social entrepreneurs and innovators to achieve their dreams to improve the city.

Each of this year's fellows will receive $48,750 to work full-time for 18 months, implementing creative strategies to assist and revitalize underserved communities in Baltimore. This year's new class brings the total number of Baltimore Community Fellows to 117 most of whom still are actively working in the city, continuing to bring their energy and ideas to effect social change.

"Our new Community Fellows are dynamic and committed social activists, each with an innovative vision for bringing opportunity and greater justice to Baltimore's neighborhoods so that all residents can participate fully in community life," says OSI-Baltimore Director Diana Morris. "With this 13th class, we are proud to add to our corps of talented Baltimore Community Fellows. Working across issues and neighborhoods, these Fellows are bringing hope, new approaches, resources and advocacy skills to residents throughout the city, mobilizing them to take action to meet their own needs and to revitalize Baltimore communities."

Source: Open Society Institute Baltimore
Writer: Walaika Haskins
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