If you spend any time at UMBC, it doesn’t take long to realize that Retrievers are remarkable people. They are smart and creative and they care about their communities.
We are so proud of and thankful for those who give of their time, talent and treasure at UMBC, in our community, and around the world. So, in honor of National Philanthropy Day, we wanted to recognize just a few of the ways that Retrievers give back:
Denene Yates ’10, health administration
Yates, a Newcombe Scholar, has made a career of helping others. During her time at UMBC, with the aid of a professor, she founded a non-profit organization called Safe House of Hope in the Curtis Bay. Through this, Yates works to assist sex-trafficking victims and those engaged in prostitution in their efforts to become vital, healthy members of the community. Her work has been so critical that she was named a 2013 fellow of the Open Society Institute – Baltimore.
Lee Blaney, assistant professor, and the students of Engineers Without Borders-UMBC
Blaney and the student members of Engineers Without Borders are changing lives across the globe. This January, they’ll travel to Isongo, Kenya, to install a clean water system to provide sanitation and hygiene information to the residents. “Helping communities in need is exactly why the students in this group give so much of their time and energy. Engineers Without Borders projects are great because the ultimate goal is to give the project over to the community,” explains Michael Brown, a student engineer. Learn about the project (and how you can help!).
Visual arts students and associate professor Stephen Bradley
Bradley and his students became mentors and brought art into the community through a mural project with Masonville Cove and students at Benjamin Franklin High School. Students worked on various designs for the mural that would remind the visitors to MCEEC of the fragile ecology of the place and to improve the visual landscape. Throughout the creation of the mural, the UMBC students found themselves talking and making art with the BFHS students working through their anxiety and contending with other obstacles they face in their lives. Learn more about the project.
Madie Eshete ’07, biological sciences
For many of us, a 30th birthday celebration means balloons, presents and parties with friends and family. For Eshete, however, the milestone birthday meant a lasting change for hundreds of rural Ethiopians without access to clean water. A first-generation Ethiopian-American, Eshete raised more than $10,000 for charity:water, which aims to help an estimated 800 million people worldwide without access to clean water by providing freshwater wells, rainwater catchments, sand filters and other lasting solutions. Read more.
UMBC Rugby players past and present joined together for the first UMBC Rugby Day of Service, partnering with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and Habitat for Humanity Sandtown to demolish and clean up one site, and to build a new home on another. Close to 30 players from the men’s and women’s club participated. “As an organization, we were looking for an event that would allow us to bring all of the teams together, past and present, to do something positive in the greater Baltimore community,” said Tracy Williams, Jr. ’06. Learn more.