Black History Month is here, and if you know someone who’s making their own history by giving back to their community in a positive way, nominate them to be a B’more Proud History Maker! We’re celebrating a new person each day!
1. Andrea JonesSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Christopher Watkins
Why: She is a phenomenal person and has done everything from helping young men go to prom, to feeding the homeless and giving them supplies to keep warm. She also serves in the Maryland National Guard and is even bringing a Black Author Expo to Baltimore City.
2. Mosiah FitSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Keamba Manning
Why: Mosiah deserves to be nominated because he is the epitome of being the change you want to see and in the world. He is the founder and leader of the Black Wolves, a scouting organization for the children of Baltimore. He teaches the children pride in who they are, humanitarian love, discipline, personal accountability, and enterprise. He is a great community leader and role model. He is fully committed to the children he works with and his organization.
3. Coach Donovan AdamsSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Himself
Why: Baltimore City has kids who don’t have guidance, who don’t have people to look up to, or just don’t have a family that they can depend on. They are some of the most talented kids in Baltimore, but because they go to a public school that is not popular or as productive as others, they will never be seen and they can’t afford training because of financial issues that the family has. Let me tell you about Get a Bucket University (GABU), which is a training and mentor program for kids 15 and under which gives them top notch training that they may not be able to afford and that big brother mentoring that they need. We are located in the heart of the projects at Lillian Jones Recreation Center, and everything is FREE! I use my own funds for shoes clothes and food that they don’t have on a regular day, not just for training. We take pride in school work and just becoming an individual. We have discipline so we can understand life. That’s what we go by and that’s what we breathe. I didn’t have these things when I was young, and wasn’t able to afford them, so I give it back to them. I am Coach Adams…and I care.
4. Angel LeachSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Lenae Queen
Why: Angel Leach is a young woman who’s a social worker with The Mercy Of Hope program at Mercy Medical Center. The Mercy of Hope program helps needy and homeless families transitioning back into a life with stability. Angel Leach is just that, an “angel.” She was such a blessing for me and my family who were homeless and are now transitioning back into this world we live in. I’ve never met a young person who is so diligent, caring, supportive and really determined about doing their job.
5. Paulette GraySource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Lashelle White
Why: Paulette is a great person and should be recognized as a B‘more Proud History Maker for her work to help the homeless. She often cooks for the homeless and then rides around Baltimore to feed them. Paulette is the owner of a salon, so she cuts homeless people’s hair. She also adopted a family for Christmas and made sure they had a very special holiday.
6. John JacksonSource:Photo Submission
Nominated By: Rochelle
John aka “Chef JJ” is a Baltimore native Army Veteran who saw a need for local veterans and set out to meet and exceed those needs. John served Thanksgiving meals to more than 100 veterans in Baltimore November 2019 and has started a non profit A Soldier’s Story to further his mission to assist his fellow vets. As a veteran myself it makes me proud to call him my brother and friend and to assist in his mission. He is very humble and very much deserving of this honor.
7. Latonya SavageSource:Photo Submission
Nominated By: Shawn Savage
My wife, Latonya Savage created and has been running the Y.E.S. Club in NW Baltimore for 18 years. The program is for girls ages 7-17. It is not funded by outside sources. She closes her salon every Tuesday evening to meet with the girls, serves dinner and just makes sure they have a safe place to talk. She is always taking them on trips and simply making sure that the girls are good. I am so proud of the work that she does to make life better for our youth.
8. Chanel SmithSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Anitra Hill
Chanel is an excellent example in humanity. As a wife and mother, she instills qualities in her family that we should all live by. She does so much to give back to the Baltimore community and the education of children in Baltimore. She’s also a coach for track and other sports. On her Instagram page, she always posts positive things about education and how we can use various tools to help our youth. She is Vice President of the Torrey Smith Foundation (her husband), whose mission is to create a society that is equitable and compassionate so that we can leave the world better than we found it.
9. Terrick GainesSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Cherise Gaines
Terrick Gaines is the owner of TGX Performance Systems. He has trained and mentored middle and high school athletes free of charge. Through his help the students were able to get full scholarships into college. He also does workshops for athletes and their parents educating them on the process of getting our youth in schools with their grades, and talent. He has offered free sports camps to the community as well. When you need help, he is always there to make meaningful connections between the collegiate athletes and professional sports industries. He has trained many NFL athletes as well as 2 NFL Super Bowl Champions.
10. Sherree RogersSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Destiny Hall
Sherree should be recognized, not just this month, but every day because she has big, caring heart. She has a moving, hauling, cleaning and home improvement service called Rogers Does It All. She uses a majority of the money she makes to help the less fortunate. She often receives calls where people wanted to use her services, but couldn’t afford them, so she helps out low income families targeting section 8, HUD, and any other people living in income-based housing. She also started a non-profit called Standing Strong Mentoring Program here in the USA and in Africa.
11. Rich AkwoSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: George Anderson
Rich is the pioneer behind Selfless Saturday, Generosity Showers and Generosity Global. 1) During Selfless Saturday, Rich and a team of volunteers feed hundreds of locals from Baltimore. He has been doing this for several years. It’s always packed and his selfless leadership has inspired people from all walks and races to both help and be helped by this generosity. 2) Generosity Showers was invisioned by Rich many years ago and is not realized. Through his passion to help those in need in Baltimore and a great vision, he raised funds to turn a large mobile trailer into a multi-showering facility. We worked tirelessly with the local government to obtaining water and parking permits and now those in need have a safe, clean and respectable environment to shower and properly groom themselves regularly. He provide all towels, toiletries and staffing support. Might I add, this selfless endeavor has put some of the very people he serves to work; earning a respectable income. 3) Rich is in Africa as I type drilling wells for those in need of clean drinking water. I don’t know what else to say. Rich is an all around amazing leader, father and husband; he’s simply a good brother. He’s someone I have invested in and certainly someone who has invested in me. Please consider him. Follow him as Rich Akwo in FB and follow Generosity Global to see details of all these efforts.
12. Hydeia Tyrel HallSource:Photo Submission
Submitted by: Patricia Oliver
Hydeia has mentored and tutored young children in our community and even some adults in the art of dancing. Hydeia has displayed a level of maturity, creativity, and expertise in her craft. I see this is rare in a young adult her age. Hydeia teaches dance while attending high school and doing all of this with her studies. Hydeia has also volunteered with me feeling the homeless in Baltimore City. Hydeia’s strengths in her work are complemented by her leadership skills in the community and in our church where she is a very active member.
13. India WhitlockSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Linnea Oni
This real estate agent/builder/ philanthropist/mother/sister and friend goes above and beyond to give back to her community, family and friends. She had spearheaded several give back initiatives in Baltimore and is determined to earn a million, net a million, and give a million. She recently started the Madison Mason Home Group Bridge the Gap Scholarship where the first recipient was awarded $10,000 toward his college tuition! Her reach in the community is far and wide.
14. Ryan MasonSource:Photo Submission
Mr. Mason is a Baltimore City teacher who is dedicated to building educated well-rounded kids. He leads a boys mentorship program that teaches young kings how to tie a tie and the importance of staying active through a physical fitness program. He also plans school events such as “Donuts with Dad” and “Muffins with Mom” to encourage parents to be involved in their children’s school life.
15. Elijah DavisSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Shanica Jackson
It is with great adulation that I nominate Baltimore photographer and youth change agent Elijah Davis as a B’more Proud History Maker. This talented brother has not only changed the face of digital photography in the city of Baltimore but it’s through his many youth initiatives and community projects he’s also managed to have an enormous impact on countless young people living in the city’s most underserved communities. Mr. Davis, took to the streets this summer in an effort to help reduce the recidivism rate and eradicate youth homelessness by doing “Thursday’s Give Back”! And in September his I Am So Awesome Initiative (to help enhance the self-esteem of Elementary Age children in Baltimore City Public Schools) was featured by WBAL. And yet recently, during another interview, he was recognized for his philanthropic work (this time by the Greater Baltimore Urban League. I can’t begin to say enough about this extraordinary Beacon of hope. This brother definitely embodies what I believe it means to be a B’more Proud History Maker.
16. Yahu BlackwellSource:Photo Submission
Nominated By: Joshua Dreiband
Yahu Blackwell is a professional boxer, who used his earnings to feed the homeless all thru out the city of Baltimore. He also worked with “Hash Tag Lunch Bag” to feed 1000 people! Yahu has also been a motivational speaker all in many elementary schools, teaching them the “Power of there thoughts” and the “laws of attraction” Aside from boxing, he is now a Ritas Italian ice franchise owner, his stores are located in the Baltimore city where he will provide employment for the youth along with incentives to help inspire them to continue to do better. Yahu has plans of running for city council in the future, but in the mean time he’s is doing a wonderful job in our community. The things he does is not funded by an organization but out of his own pocket.
17. Jearlean TaylorSource:Photo Submission
“Different to Make a Difference” I developed a rare form of cancer at 3 years old. As a result, I have two permanent ostomy (bags) for the rest of my life. No one could imagine my difficulties, low self-esteem, insecurities, many surgeries, and my problem with loving me. Through my journey and faith, I discovered who I could be in spite of my medical circumstances. We have the ability to make a difference, to change lives, and be role model. It is a blessing to have my desires and passions come true. I have been a fashion (editorial and runway) model for over 19 years, yes with two ostomy bags. Now considered one of top fashion models in Baltimore. To see the outer appearance no one could ever tell I live with these adversities and what I deal with 24 hours/7 days a week. My ostomy “bags” do not define me. I am changing lives though my story. I am encouraging cancer survivors, inspiring ostomy patients, mentoring fashion models, giving back to my community by teaching the youth about self-esteem through modeling classes. I used to say, why me?’ why cancer, why ostomy bags? Now I say, ‘why not me?’ Just because you have difficulties in life doesn’t mean you can’t make it. WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
18. Eric Randall Jr.Source:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Jennifer Pope
Eric Randall Jr has created an organization supporting the youth of Baltimore City. B-More Soleful Inc encourages the youth of our city to achieve academic excellence while looking fly doing so. His organization take new and used sneakers (which is restored by some of the dopest designers in the city.) They take these sneakers and give them to the youth in the community in hopes of building self-esteem, improving GPA’s, and encourage conduct. In 2019 he partnered with Nike and Reebok in the #GiveBackCampaign awarding exclusive shoes to honor roll students in our city. He also has a clothing line called B-More Like Us that is a fashionable display of pride in our hometown. He created this clothing line over 10 years ago and it has grown to be a hometown favorite. We all know when you look good you feel good. His organization and business support positive self esteem, academic progression, and leadership in our community. In December 2019 he held The Holiday Homage giving away over 1,000 pairs of shoes to anymore that came out and to the event to provided resources, food, music, and gave hope to all those in attendance. He continues to rep our city in positivity and and has made it his mission to touch the hearts of this city and inspire our youth to reach their full potential.
19. Andrea SawyerSource:Photo Submission
Nominated by: Nicole Richardson
Andrena is an advocate for women, specifically women of color. She is the President of a P.E.R.K. Consulting – a local boutique consulting firm for nonprofits and small businesses, but she recently launched MCWEN-an initiative that provides resources and seeks to level the playing field for women of color entrepreneurs. She is fearless in her commitment to help others, and a great example of what it looks like to follow one’s dreams.