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We at the Baltimore Youth Advocate office take great pleasure in nominating Frederick Wilkes for consideration of a scholarship from the Endowment Fund to continue his education at the Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). He began his pursuit of an Assoociates Degree in the field of Fashion Design this fall. Fred, as he is known to us, has shown a tremendous amount of enthusiasm towards his educational goals. This is evident by his commitment to studying, his attitude, and his part-time job at the school library.
In May 2007, Fred was referred to YAP, Inc. by the Department of Juvenile Services with a long history of juvenile delinquency. At the time, he was residing in a drug-infested community that had a high concentration of gang activity. Fred was being heavily recruited by the gangs, but he had higher aspirations and goals for himself. He realized that he had to remove himself from the danger of the neighborhood, as well as the enticement of what appears to be an exciting lifestyle to a young and disadvantaged person.
Mr. Wilkes initially struggled with embracing the YAP model and resisted engaging his advocate. After a normal period of building trust with the advocate and testing the patience of the staff, Fred made the decision to take advantage of the opportunities that were presented to him by YAP. While in the program, Fred had some struggles that were consistent with coming from a complex family system, but he maintained a full-time job at a local fast food restaurant. Fred demonstrated commitment and determination both at his place of employment and in the program.
Fred successfully completed the terms and conditions of his probation, as well as the expectation of YAP, Inc. in May of 2008. Fred has embraced the YAP principle of giving back by volunteering to help our office during our recent move and offering his services on a regular basis.
We just believe that Mr. Wilkes possesses the needed characteristics to successfully complete this step of his educational journey. His biggest need at this particular time is additional funding to give him the peace of mind to focus on studying and achieving.