Summer 2019 #InspiredToServe Interns


Did you know that Karma for Cara Foundation partners with Living Classrooms Foundation in the #InspiredTo Serve volunteerism program for students? The program was established in honor & memory of Cara who served as an intern at the non-profit and offers summer and school-year internships as well as multi-site and one-time event volunteer opportunities–specifically for students. K4C & Living Classrooms hope that by engaging more students like Cara, we can inspire other young people to give back to their communities. You can learn about all the student opportunities here. Erin Myers, Director of Volunteerism and Partner Engagement at Living Classrooms authored the article below. Living Classrooms Foundation is located in both Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC.

Inspired to Serve, 2019 Summer Interns

This summer, we hosted our fourth cohort of “Inspired to Serve” Summer Interns. Throughout the summer, interns learned about the inner workings of a nonprofit organization and completed meaningful final projects to contribute to their individual departments (a description of department placements follows this article). 

Sarah Cahn, Haverford College Intern; Patterson Park House

Luke Creamer, Baltimore City College High School Intern; Education Department

Caroline Cross, St. Timothy’s School Intern; UA House at Fayette

Ben Gorski, University of Maryland, College Park Intern; BUGS

Kiah Johnson, Mount St. Mary’s University Intern; POWER House

Joshua Liu, Johns Hopkins University Intern; Patterson Park House

BrianHa McMillion, Coppin State University Intern; Financial Literacy

Maia Reeb, New York University Intern; BUGS

Kayla Seibel, Towson University Intern; Fresh Start

Austin Weider, Loyola University of Maryland Intern; Ascend through Music

Collectively, these interns served 1,859 hours over the course of the summer!

Intern Testimonials

How has this internship helped you to clarify your professional goals?

“I think my desire to work with kids has manifested itself more clearly now. I am still interested in finding new ways to serve people in this city.” – Joshua

“It has helped me to find my affinity for early childhood education.” – Ben

“This internship has helped me understand how to manage people, classes, and projects. I have developed the skills to effectively act as a respected adult.” – Austin

How has this experience allowed you to develop professionally (leadership development, organizational skills, communication skills, working on a team, etc.)?

“I have definitely matured this summer and I am grateful for the opportunity. I’ve grown to be more of a leader and I am also more willing to step out of my comfort zone.” – Caroline

“I think it allowed me to work better with at-risk youth because I was able to hear stories of how they grew up and even though I did not experience what they did, I could start to understand.” – Kayla

Placement descriptions:

Patterson Park House: Middle school students from local neighborhoods attend programming in the middle of Patterson Park, one of the country’s best urban parks. Students receive at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, eat a healthy meal and receive homework help. Programming includes poetry, arts & crafts, gardening, and mental health activities.

UA House at Fayette: In 2016, Living Classrooms received a significant long-term investment from Kevin Plank and Under Armour to renovate the site formerly known as the Carmelo Anthony Youth Development Center. The revamped UA House at Fayette features 30,000 square feet of space that includes a covered turf field sponsored by the Baltimore Ravens, a tutoring center, a workforce development & entrepreneurship lab, a dance & yoga studio, a music education & recording studio, and a neighborhood kitchen. Services at the center are focused in five cornerstone areas: Education; Character and Leadership; Health, Wellness, &Fitness; Community Engagement & Service; and Entrepreneurship & Workforce Development, and the UA House hosts a number of community events including: youth workshops & conferences, health & wellness and job fairs, financial literacy workshops, family engagement activities, and basketball tournaments.

BUGS: Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students (BUGS) is a multidisciplinary after-school program that serves local 2nd-5th grade students with meaningful hands-on academic enrichment activities that complement the school day. BUGS works to help students improve academic skills, school attendance, and behavior, while also building confidence and self-esteem.  All activities are designed to encourage youth to enjoy learning, make positive choices and develop socially, advance a sense of accomplishment, and make an  impact in their community.  The theme-based curriculum is focused on four main components:  Cooking/Nutrition, Gardening/Environment, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Creative Arts.

POWER House: The POWER House community center is located directly in Baltimore’s largest public housing community. POWER is an acronym for Providing, Opportunities, to Work, Expand, and Rise. Year-round out-of-school time programming provides services in five core areas: Education & Career Development, Character & Civic Development, Health & Life Skills, the Arts & Cultural Enrichment, and Health & Wellness. In addition, the POWER House offers financial literacy, English as a Second Language, and GED prep classes as well as job training courses for adults weekly.

Fresh Start: Fresh Start is a non-residential, community-based program that consists of a 24-week curriculum providing vocational, academic, and social skills development training to adjudicated and out-of-school youth ages 16-19, most of whom are referred by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. The program uses carpentry as a medium to teach academic, social, and job readiness skills. Students work in Living Classrooms Foundation’s Maritime Institute workshop building quality wooden furniture, cutting boards, and gifts for sale to the public. Students also receive classroom instruction and one-on-one tutoring to prepare them for their high school equivalency exam. The curriculum is designed to increase self-reliance, teach problem solving & academic skills, and demonstrate how academic skills and knowledge are used in a practical work environment.  The students attend weekly yoga and mindfulness sessions and monthly group mentoring workshops that focus on improving emotional wellness and interpersonal relationships to ensure they are equipped for the rigors of adulthood.

Ascend Through Music: Ascend through Music is a program located at UA House at Fayette which provides musical opportunities for kids, teens, and adults living within the Baltimore Target Investment Zone. Their experience within the program fosters leadership, creativity, and self-expression which empowers them to succeed. Through hands-on activities with instrumental lessons, vocal training, sound production, music ensembles, song writing, and performance opportunities, the program offers unique exposure to music history, technology, and the industry while also fostering a deep connection with music in their own lives. Students gain the tools to be able to express their culture, struggles, and triumphs through music. The intent is that students will come away from the program seeing music as a way to uplift themselves as well as their community.