An all-girl college-preparatory public charter school in Baltimore is launching a fundraising campaign to support its mission of transforming Baltimore, one young woman at a time.
The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW) is continuing its “Campaign for BLSYW” with the goal of raising $10 million. The funds raised will be used to enhance academics, bolster Whole Girl Wellness programming, ensure 100% college acceptance and future success for graduates, and securing the BLSYW endowment for the school’s future in Baltimore City.
BLSYW announced that the campaign has achieved 85% of its fundraising goal, raising over $8.5 million, including $500,000 for the 10th annual (Em)Power Breakfast. The breakfast welcomed over 600 supporters to the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor for a morning of BLSYW pride and celebration.
“We’re thrilled to have reached this milestone, but we need your support to make our vision a reality,” said Chevonne Hall-Smith, CEO of BLSYW.
“The Campaign for BLSYW is a testament to our commitment to empowering the next generation of female leaders,” said Maria Tildon, campaign co-chair and vice president of the BLSYW board.
The school was founded in 2008 by Brenda Brown Rever, who is herself a product of Baltimore City Schools and has dedicated her life to issues affecting the health and independence of women. “Over the course of more than one year, she planned and diligently rounded up a circle of friends, supporters and champions of Baltimore to create a school that would focus on leadership, college preparation, strong academics and best practices for girls and young women,” according to the school’s website. “Brenda’s knowledge and respect for the Young Women’s Leadership Network in New York led her to replicate the model in her home town.”
The school now serves over 450 students from all Baltimore City zip codes. Its program “demonstrates a strong commitment to math, science and technology – fields where women are underrepresented and where Maryland needs to cultivate a strong knowledge base and workforce – as well as to the arts and humanities which teach students to appreciate and engage critically the world that they will lead.” Over 65% of its students qualify for free and reduced meals, and 97% identify as African American.
BLSYW has achieved a 100% college acceptance rate for its graduating classes, with over 80% of its alumnae being first-generation college graduates. The class of 2023 received more than $550,000 in scholarships and grants, and 42% of graduates received full tuition packages.