By far, one of the best examples of helping young black boys grow up in a complex world is none other than Talbot County’s Building African American Minds (BAAM). The creation of Derick Daly and his wife, Dina; BAAM has grown from its humble roots in 2004 into a phenomenal institution for the region. Now in its 15th year, the growth of BAAM can best be seen as they grow their campus of classrooms and recreation facilities on Jowite Street, which serves over one hundred boys.
While there is universal admiration for BAAM and their remarkable success, there was invariably a question on many people’s minds about the contrast between this mature organization daily impacting the lives and future of young boys and the lack of a similar program for girls. And one of those who was worried about this gap was Mid-Shore civic leader and economic development expert Keasha Haythe.
As she reflected back on her own challenges as a young girl growing up, she became all the more determined to find a way in which middle school girls could better prepare for their adult lives, including understanding entrepreneurship, business plans, and career education, but also the soft skills needed for social interaction, conflict resolution, and the building of personal self-esteem.
And in 2016, with the help of Talbot County Public Schools and various other government agencies, Keasha created the Foundation of Hope. Directly initially for 6th-grade girls, the program within only a few years now attracts some twenty students motivated to take advantage of this special mentoring program.
The Spy caught up with Keasha a few weeks ago at the Easton Middle School for a better understanding of the Foundation’s goals and aspirations.
This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Foundation of Hope or to volunteer please go here