• Atiya Wells

    Atiya Wells went on her first hike when she was 22. Her boyfriend (now husband) took her to a park near Frederick, Maryland. The Newark, New Jersey native was skeptical. But she felt so revitalized afterwards that she and her husband started going every weekend. It was a tradition they kept up after they had […]

  • Isaiah Johnson

    For Isaiah Johnson, growing up in Baltimore’s Greenmount East neighborhood was challenging. Crime and drugs were common. But Johnson always had basketball and he was good at it. “Basketball saved my life,” he says. It allowed him to get outside of Greenmount and see other places, and it also provided powerful guidance from coaches, mentors, […]

  • Ateira Griffin

    Single mothers are close to Ateira Griffin’s heart—she was raised by her mom and grandmother, both of whom were single mothers. She had a very close relationship with them growing up, which she thought about frequently as dean of students at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. When students asked Griffin for advice with […]

  • Darius Wilmore

    More than a decade ago, Darius Wilmore stood in the former Sylvan Beach Café, an ice cream shop in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon, and was struck by how the energy from the young African American workers reminded him of the rap industry in New York City, where he had worked as an art director for years. […]

  • Elizabeth Finne

    In 2018, the Maryland Parole Commission held more than 7,000 parole hearings. Most of the people up for parole have no support to prepare for their hearings because there is no public funding for such support and most inmates can’t afford an attorney. Elizabeth Finne wants to change that with the Parole Preparation Project. Finne […]

  • James Henderson

    Growing up in Pontiac, Michigan, James Henderson spent hours at the city’s recreation centers—until they were shut down due to budget cuts. When Henderson attended college in Baltimore, he saw history repeat itself: the Leith Walk Recreation Center in Northeast Baltimore, where he volunteered as a youth basketball coach and mentor, shut down, breaking the […]

  • Tehya Jenae Faulk

    Tehya Jenae Faulk wants to collect stories—a lot of them—from what she says are “people on the edge of society.” To do this Faulk created Orphan We, an online platform that collects and shares stories from those who have experienced marginalization, including people of color, queer people, and immigrants. Faulk is particularly focused on engaging […]

  • E.V. Yost

    Like many people, E.V. Yost found themself in unchartered territory this spring, as the world shut down with the COVID-19 pandemic. Yost finished law school and studied and sat for the bar remotely. As Baltimore adapted to life during a pandemic, they saw how people across the city were connecting online and using social and […]

  • Bree Jones

    By many measures, Harlem Park, an overwhelmingly African American neighborhood in West Baltimore, is struggling. More than a third of households are below the poverty line; more than a third of properties are abandoned; there are no banks, and 40% of households don’t have internet access. Only about a quarter of homes are owned by […]

  • Troy Staton

    Troy Staton has been cutting hair since he was 13. He started on his mother’s porch. Then he began hanging around local barber shops. One of those barbers encouraged him to get formal training through the Westside Skills Center. After that, he studied under some of the city’s best known and best loved master barbers. […]