On May 7, the University of Maryland School of Public Policy’s Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program hosted their annual certificate ceremony. Students presented their community action projects to their families and to Delegate Samuel I. “Sandy” Rosenberg, a colleague and friend of the program’s namesake, the late Howard Peters “Pete” Rawlings. Delegate Rosenberg spoke of Rawlings’ dedication to public service and talent in securing state support for Baltimore City, as well as his legacy through his own service as chair of the Maryland House Appropriations Committee and that of his daughter, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
During the year-long Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program, students learn how to become strong, ethical leaders who support and speak for those who are often underrepresented in leadership and the decision-making process. As part of the Rawlings program, students design and implement their own community action projects, take courses on leadership, complete an internship and meet with elected officials, community advocates and nonprofit leaders.
The students in the 2015-2016 cohort began working on their community action projects in the fall 2015 semester and completed projects to address a range of topics from incarcerated youth to community health to domestic violence to immigration. Projects included efforts to promote awareness about the connection between mental health and homelessness, empowerment courses for young women, and efforts to connect different groups of immigrant youths. Each student team prepared presentations to explain their projects during the certificate ceremony.
After presenting their projects, completing the final benchmark in the program, the students were awarded certificates to commemorate their successful completion of the Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program.