Kaiser Permanente, BOPA Award Scholarships to 12 Baltimore ‘Light City Teen Scholars’

Outstanding Baltimore high school students chosen for mentorship, training program

Press Release
text logo for Light City teen scholars, with a graduation cap on the o in scholars, with a band of colorful lights above

Baltimore, Md. — Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic Region and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) today announced that 12 outstanding Baltimore high school students have been accepted into the inaugural Light City Teen Scholars Program.

The Baltimore-area high school sophomores and juniors will take part in an intensive, 10-month program designed to empower them to become engaged leaders and to help them develop a voice and a vision for themselves, their community and their world.

Students will fulfill a six-week paid internship at Kaiser Permanente or other area employers based on their career interests. In addition, they will be given a part-time job with Light City Baltimore in March 2016 and a scholarship of $1,500 towards the continued study of their choice. They will also receive one-on-one mentorships with Baltimore-area professionals during their internships and will attend regular creative and skill-building workshops.

“The 12 students selected to participate in the Light City Teen Scholars Program are an inspiration to us all,” said Kim Horn, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States. “In order for the Baltimore area to truly thrive, we need to invest in tomorrow’s leaders, and that’s exactly why we at Kaiser Permanente are funding this important program and creating internship opportunities in Baltimore. The young adults selected for this year’s scholarship program embody everything Light City is about: hope, inspiration and empowerment.”

Here is more information about the 12 Baltimore high school students chosen to participate:

  • Marley Ford is a junior at Baltimore School for the Arts. She is planning to study computer science, psychology and theatre in college and is considering all her options for her future career. As a Light City Scholar, Marley is most excited about “being part of the first Light City Festival, which could be a cultural touchstone for Baltimore.”
  • Tariq Heflin is a junior at City Neighbors High School. He plans on sending his work to outer space as an aerospace engineer. While looking towards the stars, he’s also focused on his community and hopes to help create safe spaces for young people because “youth is the future.” As a Light City Scholar, Tariq is most looking forward to developing and sharing his voice.
  • Donovan Jackson is a junior at National Academy Foundation. His experience creating codes, building a robot and applying himself in the Engineering Career Track at school demonstrate that he is well on his way to becoming an engineer. Donovan is most excited to “meet new people and try challenging activities” as a Light City Scholar.
  • Jamilah Johnson is a junior at City Neighbors High School. Her passions include creative arts, video games and helping others. She is considering her career options but hopes to go to Towson University. Jamilah is a Light City scholar because she cares for her peers and believes “helping others can lift your mood and the mood of others.”
  • Damien Keola-Eldridge is a junior at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. He is looking forward to a career in mechanical engineering or architecture. Damien is a founding member of the Baltimore United Viewfinders, which strives to challenge the biases directed at the youth of the city. Damien says, “I am a very passionate and confident person and I want to make my community/neighborhood a better place.”
  • Waleed Khan is a sophomore at Digital Harbor High School. Waleed is planning a career as a cardiovascular surgeon. He intends to build a team that travels the world delivering treatment to those that need it but don’t have access. As a Light City Scholar, he is most looking forward to connecting with the community and building connections.
  • Dominique Lee is a sophomore at New Era Academy. She is a budding entrepreneur with many ideas on how she’ll make her mark on the business world. Dominique says, “I want to break out of my shell and take on more opportunities that can help me reach my goals. One day, I could be the one giving opportunities to youth.” Domonique wants to be a voice “for the many teens out there that struggle.”
  • Jamea McMullen is a junior at Digital Harbor High School. She has plans to be a video game designer and eventually own a video game company. Jamea believes it’s important to consider new ideas and not judge people’s thoughts or ideas. She says, “Everyone can think differently. It’s better to have different ideas coming together.”
  • Sartre Ndebaneza is a junior at Patterson High School. His experience as a refugee from the Congo drives him to help others by becoming a doctor for the Red Cross. Sartre is also an artist and a poet. A line from his poem, “Don’t Give Them the Reason” says,
    • “Don’t give them the reason to take your rights
      I lift up my lamp
      I follow his light
      That leads me to life
      I wake up and grab my natural rights
      That I was born with.”
  • Ashley Pena is a sophomore at Digital Harbor High School. Her career path is clear: she’ll be combining her passions for science and animals to be a veterinarian. Ashley says, “I’m not scared to do the unexpected. I take chances. I love to be a free, outgoing girl who fights for what she wants and is herself while doing it.”
  • Wanyea Thompson is a junior at Digital Harbor High School. His family history of cancer is motivating him to become a doctor a find the cure. Wanyea describes himself as “ambitious because I have dreams in my life that I need to fulfill. Not to prove myself to other people, but to show myself that I can do anything I put my mind to.”
  • Louis Williams is a junior at Baltimore City College. He is considering a career in acting, teaching or activism. Louis thinks it is necessary to smile often to keep morale up in groups and to avoid getting “caught up in the grind of big projects and just life in general.” As a Light City Scholar, Louis is most excited about being able to ignite change within his community.

Learn more about the Light City Teen Scholars Program here: www.lightcity.org/getinvolved/light-city-teen-scholars/.

About Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts
The Baltimore Office of Promotion &The Arts (BOPA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, film office, and events agency. By producing large-scale events such as Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival, the Baltimore Book Festival, and offering funding and support to arts programs across the city, BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city.

About Light City Baltimore
Light City Baltimore is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. The event is sponsored by Leading Founding Partner: BGE; Founding Partners: Visit Baltimore and What Works Studio; Government Partners: City of Baltimore and Maryland Department of Commerce; Leadership Partners: Abell Foundation, Brown Advisory, Kaiser Permanente, Whiting-Turner Construction Company; Major Sponsors: Baltimore Development Corporation and PNC Bank; Official Sponsors: Constellation, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Greater Baltimore Committee, Loyola University Maryland, M&T Bank, Meyerhoff Family Charitble Funds, Maryland Institute College of Art, Transamerica, UMBC, Under Armour; and Festival Sponsors: Ayers Saint Gross, Baltimore Ravens, Caves Valley Partners, Ellin & Tucker, Generosity, Inc., ICF International, Johns Hopkins University (President’s Office and Office of Technology Ventures), Lifebridge Health, and Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore.

About Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States region, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, provides and coordinates complete health care services for more than 620,000 members through 29 medical centers in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Founded in 1980, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is a total health organization comprising Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., an independent medical group that features more than 1,200 physicians. Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States was rated in the nation’s top 9 Medicare plans and the top 11 Commercial health plans — by The “NCQA Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2015-2016 report.” Additionally, NCQA recognized all 29 of Kaiser Permanente’s medical centers in the Mid-Atlantic region with the Patient Centered Medical Home Level III designation for excellence in coordinated care. For more information about Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, visit kp.org or follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/KPMidAtlantic.

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