Last week, the Baltimore Orioles honored 2014 OSI Community Fellow Van Brooks and 2018 OSI Community Fellow Ciera Daniel as Community Heroes, telling their stories on the big screen at Camden Yards during home games (see Van’s story here) .
Brooks, who was paralyzed while playing high-school football, founded Safe Alternative Foundation for Education (SAFE), which works with youth from the Franklin Square neighborhood where he grew up and still resides. The program helps to promote education and life skills, as well as the tools to become college graduates and future leaders. Brooks and volunteers also stress the importance of having “a backup plan for life.”
Daniel established Young Kings’ Leadership Academy (YKLA) in partnership with City Springs Elementary School in East Baltimore to facilitate free after-school programs for underserved black male middle-school students to cultivate them as leaders, illuminate their full potential and enhance a positive culture throughout the school and community.