Baltimore Youth Student Stories

A collection of student stories about the Bowdoin Bound Baltimore youth program dedicated to inner city youth and education opportunities for urban kids.

Bowdoin Bound Alum Making a Difference

By Jay Eastman

IMG_1368-1Ty Johnson was part of the first wave of kids to go through Bowdoin Bound. When he first traveled to Maine in the summer of 2003, he was a fourth grader at Brehms Lane Elementary School. Today, he is a junior at Bowdoin College, studying on the same campus that he’d spent so many summers on as a kid. Even twelve years later, Ty remembers the other kids from Bowdoin a fondness that only over a decade’s shared experience can produce. His favorite activities while on Bowdoin Bound were scavenger hunt across campus and swimming in pool. He even dared to leap off the pool’s high dive. In addition to his peers from Baltimore, Ty also spent time with kids from Maine. The Mainers struck Ty as almost completely different than himself and the other Baltimoreans. Nonetheless, they still played together and even if things didn’t always go smooth, it was an important experience in which both groups grew in appreciation for the other.

It wasn’t until high school however that he got to utilize Bowdoin Bound’s resources to explore different options for his college education. Traveling up and down the east coast with Bowdoin Bound. Ty visited many excellent schools. Additionally Bowdoin Bound assisted in preparing the college application. In the end however, he decided that Bowdoin was the place he wanted to be. Bringing the skills and knowledge that he has gained at Bowdoin back to Baltimore, Ty works hard to improve Baltimore communities through beautification, organization, and communication. This past summer he worked as a community organization specialist in with Belair-Edison Neighborhoods Inc. Bowdoin Bound for Ty was both a joy and a tool. It has been part of his life for a long time. It is a constant thread that is woven into the tapestry of his life, from childhood games to higher education.

What Bowdoin College Has To Offer

By James Hunter

I had the pleasure of being a member of the inaugural class to go through the Bowdoin Bound program in 2003. The program laid the foundation for who I am today. It taught me that there was more beyond my surroundings in Baltimore, and that I could compete with anyone to achieve whatever I wanted. It allowed me to map a plan for my future and set attainable goals for myself that would drive me forward in life.

Through Bowdoin Bound, I was able to see what Bowdoin College had to offer, and I was able to see what other universities had to offer. In 2010, I ultimately chose to attend the University of Maryland, College Park where I studied Economics. Today, I currently work for the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange, as the Business Manager for its index business, and I currently attend New York University’s Stern School of Business where I am a second year MBA student. I have been able to achieve much in my personal and professional life thanks to the Bowdoin Bound program, and the mentorship it provided me. Without this program, I do not believe I would have developed skills for my success at such a young age.

Shaping Today’s Youth For Tomorrow

By Sharda Lee

My Bowdoin Bound experience was amazing. I enjoyed having the opportunity to visit different colleges in different states and being able to meet different people of different backgrounds. The staff were exceptional; they wanted to see us thrive in every aspect of life. This program has shaped me to be the woman I am today. I am truly honored to be a part of a program that helped change my life and my perspective on the college experience.

Thank You Bowdoin Bound!

Bowdoin Bound, Giving Opportunity Upon Opportunity

By Winston Antoine

As I sit here late at night in bed beside my partner, smooth jazz oozing low from her cell phone speaker, one word comes to mind: opportunity. All these years later I am still in Maine. Not only did I continue to come back to Maine every summer growing up, but I continued to find myself coming back to Maine even after graduating. Who would’ve thought that I’d be considering settling down in Maine all those years ago? Bowdoin Bound gave me opportunities which lead to further opportunities. Without Bowdoin Bound it is very likely that there would have been no Bowdoin, Tree Street Youth, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, ice fishing, modeling, hunting, French-speaking, and etcetera in the storyline. Without Bowdoin Bound the plot of my life would be very different and arguably I wouldn’t have been as well-off. The exponential sum of opportunities that I’ve been lucky to have come my way would not be as great as they are today.

My Bowdoin Bound Experience

By Myah Alexander

Myah Alexander - Bowdoin Bound Alumni

Hi, I am Myah Alexander, and I have been a part of the Bowdoin Bound experience for over a decade. At the tender age of 9, I had the opportunity to become a Bowdoin Bound member through an interview and grade review process at the former Brehms Lane Elementary School. This program has followed me through elementary school to my early adulthood years. With Bowdoin Bound, I have been afforded the opportunity to learn at one of the top Summer Boarding schools in the nation, Phillip Exeter Academy, during the summer of my 9th-grade year. Bowdoin Bound allowed me to travel through the New England states and visit some of the United State’s most outstanding liberal arts colleges. Bowdoin Bound has shaped me into being a strong-led student and finding resources that support not only myself but also my community.

I graduated from Baltimore City College High School in 2015 and enrolled in McDaniel College, a liberal arts college. This college allowed me to excel with its smaller teacher: student ratio, which was always encouraged by Bowdoin Bound. At McDaniel College, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Budapest, Hungary, for an entire semester. Additionally, I chartered a chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the first black Greek-letter sorority of the divine 9. I interned at the Baltimore City State Attorney’s Office and cultivated a college experience that may not have been possible without Bowdoin Bound.

Being able to stay on the Bowdoin College campus for a week every summer for eight years allowed me to be courageous. I am often in spaces where people may feel I do not belong, but Bowdoin Bound embedded in me, at a young age, that I belong in any room I occupy. Bowdoin Bound reiterated through its actions and the community of teachers and mentors (who’ve turned into a family) that whatever I want to do, I can achieve.

Now, I own a Real Estate Business in the Baltimore City, MD area and will be founding a non-profit organization in the near future. I am who I am because of Bowdoin Bound, the village that always supports me. Thank you, Mr. Spears & Mrs. Spears, Ms. Fowlkes, Mrs. Doll, and the entire Bowdoin Bound family for pouring into my future then and now.

The Bowdoin Bound Program, An Invaluable Experience

By Briahna Lawson

Briahna Lawson - Bowdoin Bound AlumniBeing a part of the Bowdoin Bound program was an invaluable experience. Having started the program as a fourth-grader, and having remained in the program until I graduated high school, Bowdoin Bound was an integral part of my childhood. From the access to varying colleges, the host of resources provided and just the ability to connect with new people in new places, not only did the program foster the development of my academic goals and achievements, but it provided me with the opportunity to gain experiences that ultimately helped shape and expand my worldview. Bowdoin Bound is a part of my life for which I will be forever grateful and I hope the coming generations can continue to be positively impacted by this program for years to come.

Bowdoin Bound Helps Students Gain Confidence

By Kimberly Jones

My name is Kimberly Jones and I am a Bowdoin Bound alumna. At the beginning of my experience with Bowdoin Bound, I was soft-spoken and nervous to leave Baltimore and my family, even if only for a week. Over time, the teachers and staff with Bowdoin Bound were very encouraging. I gained positive friends and role models, confidence in my academic abilities, and the opportunity to explore other programs outside of the city and state. With Mr. Spears’ encouragement, I was able to attend an arts program through Access Exeter, consider my options with private and advanced-tracked education, and attend a private women’s college with a beautiful campus and nice mountain views. With the experience that I gained, I was able to (briefly) serve with the Peace Corps and am now beginning my career as a teacher with Baltimore City Public Schools. I am currently in pursuit of my Master of Education degree and look forward to being able to work with students in the same capacity. Through the generosity of Bowdoin Bound and Mr. Spears, I have been able to develop the skills and exposure that I needed to explore my options both locally and worldwide.

Bowdoin Bound Is Opening A Lot of Doors

By Daitra Parker

From a young age, I knew that I was going to obtain my college degree. I was a part of Bowdoin Bound at the tender age of five in 2003 up until the age of 17. Throughout those years, I had the privilege of going on numerous college tours of Ivy League schools, attended Phillips Exeter Academy’s summer program (2011), and created lifelong friendships. This program opened many doors for inner city kids who may not have had the opportunity to see what life is like outside of Baltimore.

Bowdoin Bound has opened a number of doors for me and instilled the confidence that I needed to walk into college with my head held high. Bowdoin Bound has been there with me through elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and post-grad. To this day, I still use the lessons and advice given to me by my mentors. I am beyond appreciative of the experience that Bowdoin Bound has given me.