Since 1987, the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust has played a critical role, together with some of Baltimore’s top independent schools, in giving lower income children the opportunity to enroll in local private schools.

The trust, known as B.E.S.T., was established through a merger of the Baltimore Independent School Scholarship Fund and the Baltimore Project for Black Students. The two organizations were created to raise private school financial aid from Baltimore corporations to increase black student enrollment.  Five schools — Bryn Mawr, Friends, Gilman, McDonogh and Roland Park Country School — took the lead in merging the two groups.

Today, B.E.S.T. raises over half a million dollars to give parents the resources they need to send their kids to area independent schools. Currently, about 33o students benefit from B.E.S.T.

Twenty-five years ago, visionary school heads determined that racial and socio-economic diversity enriched school communities.  That shared belief is the foundation of the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust.   Twenty-five years later, twenty schools and B.E.S.T. remain dedicated to the belief that these students and others like them enrich the educational experience of the entire school community.

If you are interested in learning more about the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust, please visit

Amy John is the executive director of B.E.S.T.