It started out as your basic good deed.
College senior Steve Washington wanted to donate money from a Towson State University student raffle to the homeless.
After stopping by city shelters, however, Mr. Washington realized that homeless children needed more than money; they needed friends.
So he rounded up other students and began visiting youngsters at the Springhill and Rutland Transitional Housing Programs -- taking them on field trips, helping them with their homework and organizing sporting events for them.
Last March, his efforts grew into Project Lean on Us, a program that features 150 students, 140 youngsters and a dedicated founder.
"College students get a bad rap sometimes," says Mr. Washington, a 21-year-old sociology major who lives in Towson. "The perception is that we're all business majors, only concerned about ourselves. College students just need help in knowing how to help."
His work has not gone unnoticed. During homecoming, his fellow students named him the outstanding man at Towson State.
Months later, he's still surprised by the award. "I couldn't tell you why I won," he says. "I just think people like to see others who are optimistic about the future."
So, you want to be a model?
Well, Nance Hauswald has a few questions for you: Are you 5 feet 9 inches tall? Do you weigh 115 pounds or less? Are you about 15 years old?
If not, chances are slim that you'll turn up in her fashion shows. As owner of 3 West Casting, it's Ms. Hauswald's job to spot local beauty, separating the close-but-no-cigar variety from the real standouts.
That talent has served her well since opening her agency four years ago. Today, more than 1,000 models work for her, some of whom have gone on to grace the pages of Glamour, Seventeen and GQ.
The definition of beauty has changed in the past few years, she says. "Unusual is in," says Ms. Hauswald, 35, who lives in Towson.
A former secretary, she entered the business almost by accident. A decade ago, she took a course in makeup application that led to work as a hair and makeup artist and eventually gave her the confidence to open her own business.
But her petite frame always made one thing impossible: becoming a model herself. Not so for her 7-year-old daughter Brandi, who already talks about a career in the field.
"She could do it easily, but I want it to be her decision," Ms. Hauswald says cautiously. "I don't want to be a stage mother."