By Keith Mills
When Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore in November 1995, he stood on an empty lot that is now M&T Bank Stadium and talked about his team's commitment to the community.
"I guarantee," he said then, "we will be involved in the community."
Former Raven Jonathan Ogden is still involved with a handful of local schools even after retiring in 2008. Ray Lewis established foundations right away, as did Peter Boulware in 1997. Now, Lewis, Ed Reed, Ray Rice, Matt Birk and a handful of other players are giving back to the local schools in a big way.
The Ravens have carried Modell's commitment under Steve Bisciotti and are involved in a variety of programs at the high school level, aimed at honoring not just student-athletes and coaches through their ongoing Coach of the Year and Quarterback Challenge programs, but also the general student population through their Ravens Scholars Program.
The team announced its 2012 Ravens Scholars winners this week. Some, such as Jaspreet Samra of Western High in north Baltimore, are outstanding scholar-athletes. Others, such as Maurice "Chris" Harried, are already changing lives in public health. Here is more information about the five 2012 Ravens Scholars.
Maurice "Chris" Harried
Vivien T. Thomas Arts Academy
Located in West Baltimore, the Thomas Arts Academy has been home to some of the city's premier students and Harried is certainly one of them. He currently serves as the student member of the Baltimore City Board of Commissioners, is a member of the YMCA Youth In Government, Associated Student Congress of Baltimore, HOPE worldwide and the National Youth Association. Just a high school senior, he is already experienced in biological science research, particularly genetics, microbiology, cytology and cytogenetics. Chris will attend UMBC in the fall as part of the Medical Arts Academy, although eventually he would like to work with either the FBI, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Francis Scott Key High School
Holechek is a member of the soccer team at FSK, and the Carroll County Times named him to the All-Carroll County second team last fall. Holechek also runs track, is an avid skier and, like Harried, is interested in biology. A 2011 AP Scholar, Holechek will graduate next month at the top of his senior class. He will attend McDaniel College in the fall, and plans to take a pre-med curriculum and continue his work in biology. A member of FSK's advisory council, he is also a regular volunteer for Special Olympics Maryland.
Jabbari is captain and two-time MVP of Western's tennis team. She's president of the school's National Honor Society and UNICEF club. She is fluent in Farsi, can also speak Spanish and is a member of the WMAR-TV Channel 2 Teen Perspective 2 News, a weekly newscast Baltimore-area students put together. Jabbari also volunteers for the Red Cross and works for the Hampton National Historic Site in Towson. Next year she will attend Johns Hopkins University to study public health, with another major in film studies.
Morgan is headed to the Maryland Institute College of Art in the fall. She carries a 3.70 GPA at Lansdowne and taught art classes at a local elementary school during her winter break. She earned first-place honors in the Fundamentals of Art artist show. As president of the school's National Art Honor Society, Morgan showcased her leadership and artistic abilities, and she is also interested in finance. Last year she earned the Academy of Finance Shining Star Award, based her on her participation, personality, attendance and grades. She also attended MICA's Pre-College Program, where she learned more about web portfolio design.
A classmate of Jabbari's at Western, Samra will attend Towson University and study either engineering or biology. She carried a 4.0 GPA at Western and took a heavy workload of AP and honors courses. She also took the time to tutor other students and help them with their homework. Last summer, Samra interned with the Mercy Medical Center and was one of the youngest and most talented students selected for the Northrop Grumman WORTHY program (Worthwhile to Help High School Youth). She was also vice president of the school's National Honor Society.
Posted May 25, 2012