Annapolis is a remarkable community. It is unique in its history, culture, and capacity. But it is quite typical in the inequitable structures and systems that have created a "tale of two cities" (or perhaps three!).
It is a city small enough to care about all its citizens and large enough to provide an array of compelling work and educational opportunities for young people. The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” may be difficult to manifest in DC or Baltimore, but here in Annapolis, we have the resources, the dedication, and the diversity to support the success of every young person, if we make the walls of school more permeable and leverage our amazing community for learning and growth.
There are over 51,000 businesses in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. It is the home of thriving city, county, and state governments and multiple non-profit organizations. Beyond these assets there are huge challenges on a local scale, from climate-induced flooding to a housing shortage and rising gun violence, that need the creative energy and active voice of young people to solve them effectively.
In a small city like ours, internship mentors and community advocates, working together with the school’s Crew advisors, teachers, and parents, can support students one at a time, listening to their needs and goals and connecting students with what they need and want. The internship experience serves not only to educate students, but to enrich the internship mentor’s life, to weave community connections across Annapolis, and to make our beloved city more respectful, resilient, and sustainable.