On a Saturday morning, one expects to find teenagers enjoying a day away from school, maybe watching Saturday cartoons or enjoying the luxury of sleeping in. It’s unusual for most high school students to plan or attend early Saturday morning activities. However, Saturday, October 12, 2019 was different. At 8 a.m., Towson University Student Success Programs staff, other campus collaborators, and the Greater Baltimore Urban League (GBUL) welcomed approximately 94 high school students, their parents, and guest presenters to discuss college access issues and career readiness.

Raft Woodus, director of Student Success Programs at Towson University speaks to a group of Baltimore City Public School students.

Hosting the Greater Baltimore Urban League’s Saturday Leadership Program was a great honor and helped to increase Towson University’s collaborations with a significant local organization advocating for underrepresented communities. GBUL is a local, non-profit organization working to empower communities and increase the success of involved constituents. Widely known as the Urban League, GBUL fulfills their mission by creating programs and services addressing youth needs, education, entrepreneurship, and professional development. Towson University currently participates in GBUL’s annual college fair, the Saturday Leadership Program, and encourages the campus community to volunteer for GBUL activities.

Strengthening local partnerships through BTU—Partnerships at Work for Greater Baltimore is one of the priorities established by Dr. Kim Schatzel, president of Towson University. Collaborating with the Greater Baltimore Urban League allowed TU students, high school students, engaged parents, presenters, and volunteers to learn about the wealth of opportunities available at Towson University, as well as learn about community empowerment, personal development, college preparation and access. This collaboration has demonstrated commitment to strengthening local partnerships, brought high school students, representing various schools and their parents or legal guardians to Towson University, and provided important information regarding life options after high school graduation. Certainly an event worth missing Saturday cartoons to attend!