Tim H.: A 2016 graduation success story

How ‘Haystacks’ has overcome loss to achieve his goals

Tim pic with borderIn the giving mood? Great, because while summer school is open, the traditional school year is just weeks away.

This past June, Tim H., a Strawbridge graduate, authored and delivered an amazing graduation speech. You can read about that here and check out the Back to School Appeal at boardofchildcare.org!  To our donors and volunteers, thanks for everything you do!

It is our honor to share with you an abbreviated version of his speech.   His transformation into adulthood includes overcoming a significant loss in his life.

“On April 9, 2014, I got off the school bus on the Baltimore campus, and it was just like any other day.  As I walked in and approached my cottage, there was staff everywhere.  One of the staff members took me aside and she said, “Tim, I am so sorry…your mother is at the Penn State Hospital. She’s suffering liver failure.” 

A few hours after we arrived at the hospital the nurse let everyone know: my Mom was going off life support.   

When I returned to the Baltimore campus, I felt a sense of comfort from not only the staff members, but the residents as well, which made this event easier to bear.

A few months later I moved to BCC’s semi-independent living program in Hagerstown, MD.  Throughout my time at BCC, I have grown to know the staff like they are family, and have felt a great deal of support and love. 

I have also accomplished many feats, including gaining vital work experience, life skills, financial literacy, social skills, and am now a high school graduate!  The truth is that if you stick with the program, and put faith in staff, nothing but success is in your future.”

Your support of the Back to School campaign helps students graduate and set them up for future success.

Tim was awarded several scholarships to continue his education at Hagerstown Community College.  He hopes to work as a team member in the National Parks Service.

We hope Tim’s story inspires you the way your kindness and generosity has touched so many of our youth.

P.S.  Our class of 2017 seniors are ready to put in the work this year.  Will you help us get them across the stage in June?  Donate easily and securely online at boardofchildcare.org

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Animals and birds echo through Strawbridge

Collaborative effort with CCBC offer a birds’ eye view of nature

Students at the Board of Child Care’s Strawbridge School spent some time with a few unique visitors early in March – animals from Echoes of Nature.

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Red-tail hawk shown at Strawbridge School

Based out of Bowie, MD, Echoes of Nature offers hands-on, educational programs featuring live animals to schools, day care centers, adult centers, and birthday and community events.

Echo Uzzo, the class instructor, started the lesson by showing students a small Eastern box turtle. Next was a chinchilla, a crepuscular rodent (most active around dawn and dusk) slightly larger than ground squirrels. Introduced next was a Ball Python snake, which curls when they feel threatened to make themselves a smaller target.

An opossum and a majestic red-tailed hawk capped the show. This was the only presentation students were not able to come close to or touch. Several times, this male bird – which weighs around two pounds but can stoop downward in pursuit of prey at over 100 mph – squawked and preened while Uzzo handled spoke to the class.

Uzzo spoke about how birds such as the bald eagle commonly nest from Washington to Baltimore to Annapolis, sharing waterways with fish, turtles and other animals, and how nature has moved into our backyards and cities as humans claim more land for development. Animals are under increased pressure to adapt to our presence or die.

“This was our second visit to Strawbridge, and I thought the kids were really awesome,” Uzzo said. “They’re engaged, interested and show a genuine appreciation and love for the animals.”

Uzzo says funding and building a wildlife discovery center is the ultimate goal for her company, but seeing the positive interaction between animals and humans is what motivates Uzzo.

“You protect what you like, and these kids are our future,” Uzzo said.

The Community College of Baltimore County collaborates with Strawbridge School to offer different classes to various 11th and 12th grade students. Last year, classes included childcare certification, retail, clerical and professional animal work (PAWS). Retail and PAWS carried forward to this year.

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