Rowing to college scholarships

Inner city middle school youth from the poorest neighborhoods in Maryland—kids who once couldn’t swim—are now rowing in high-tech racing shells on the Middle Branch Basin as an avenue to college scholarships

A better place for city kids to play

For many of Baltimore’s vulnerable young people, games and sports will be played in the streets if Baltimore follows through in closing over half of our Recreation Centers. With the projected closings, we need to re-examine how and where Baltimore’s youth are recreating, and plan ahead to meet their needs with realistic and cost effective […]

Creating a healthier Southwest Baltimore

In Southwest Baltimore—as well as in communities across the country—our behaviors have led us to unhealthy lives and lifestyles. The increase of chronic health conditions (e.g. high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke) is affecting younger individuals and not enough people are concerned. In some neighborhoods in Southwest Baltimore, the life expectancy is 10-15 […]

Open schools/lifelong learning

America has two kinds of schools: the first are well-equipped private and suburban public institutions or magnet/charter schools with inviting facilities where kids feel at home, feel known, and can grow in a nurturing environment. Having invested in their infrastructure, these “beacon” schools have a vested interest in staying open long after the school day […]

Ride your bike to work

With spring here, my audacious idea is to ride your bike to work. I know this sounds crazy when you think of the narrow streets of Baltimore but, this city has the potential to become a great bike city.  For its size, 630,000 residents, it is very compact, making many of its neighborhoods easy to […]

Happiness is Baltimore’s Sunday Streets

Two years ago, my wife and I got to know an amazing 12 year old girl as a summer host family through . When we traveled to Bogota, Colombia to complete her adoption, people told us not to miss Ciclovia. Every Sunday from 7 am-2 pm, over 90 miles of roads are ‘opened’ to […]

Community martial arts schools

About fifteen years ago, I spent a few evenings in Mack Lewis’s boxing gym, working on a story for Baltimore Magazine.  Vince Pettway was the gym’s star then, training for a super-welterweight title fight, and in those days he was something to watch.  But what impressed me just as much were the other young men, […]