The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Promise Heights, an initiative led by the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW), a 5-year $30 million grant to continue its effort to strengthen children and families in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Upton/Druid Heights.
The grant award was announced by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Promise Neighborhoods Implementation Grants Program. This is one of 24 Promise Neighborhood implementation awards announced since 2011, the only one in Maryland, and the only one hosted by a School of Social Work. Promise Neighborhoods support schools in high-poverty communities to become vibrant centers of opportunity and excellence.
“UMB’s work in the Southwest Baltimore community has been greatly influenced by the pioneering efforts of our School of Social Work and Promise Heights,” said Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, (UMB) one of many Promise Heights’ partners. “To a large extent, they showed us how to do engagement the right way, how to get input and buy-in from the community, how to grow resources, how to attract partners, and how to sustain meaningful activity, even when sustaining is difficult. This grant shows that hard, hard work pays off, and I couldn’t be happier.”
UMB’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy also participate in the initiative in Upton/Druid Heights, a neighborhood near UMB that includes parts of historic Pennsylvania Avenue and extends as far south as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Eutaw Place to the east.