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Baraka School

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By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | July 23, 2010
Nearly eight years ago, its last class of students left the streets of Baltimore for an education in Africa that was meant to change the course of their lives. Yet the uneven legacy of the Baraka School continues to unfold. This month, one of the young men featured in the well-regarded documentary "Boys of Baraka" stood before a judge in a courtroom, where he was indicted on federal drug-conspiracy charges. The story of Romesh Vance is not unique. Other former Baraka students have been gunned down, joined gangs and followed a path the school tried to lead them away from.
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NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | July 23, 2010
Nearly eight years ago, its last class of students left the streets of Baltimore for an education in Africa that was meant to change the course of their lives. Yet the uneven legacy of the Baraka School continues to unfold. This month, one of the young men featured in the well-regarded documentary "Boys of Baraka" stood before a judge in a courtroom, where he was indicted on federal drug-conspiracy charges. The story of Romesh Vance is not unique. Other former Baraka students have been gunned down, joined gangs and followed a path the school tried to lead them away from.
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NEWS
By Ellen Gamerman and Dan Fesperman and Ellen Gamerman and Dan Fesperman,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Jean Thompson contributed to this article | October 23, 1996
An ambitious program meant to educate inner-city children in Kenya has suffered an early setback after three children were sent back to Baltimore -- accused of misbehaving while adjusting to life in a dramatically foreign landscape thousands of miles from home.The three youngsters were returned to the city after having trouble with "adolescent behavioral stuff," said Craig Dempsey, director of Project Choice, which recommended them for the program. Dempsey confirmed that the children were accused of thefts, throwing rocks at cars, threatening locals and setting fires.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2010
Twenty-two people, including one of the boys featured in an acclaimed documentary about city children attending school in Africa, were indicted this week by a federal grand jury on charges related to a drug distribution conspiracy in the Gilmor Homes public housing complex in West Baltimore. Among those indicted was Romesh Mustafa Vance, 20, who along with his brother was one of four high-risk students whose journey to attend the Baraka School in Kenya on scholarship was captured in the acclaimed documentary "The Boys of Baraka."
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2010
Twenty-two people, including one of the boys featured in an acclaimed documentary about city children attending school in Africa, were indicted this week by a federal grand jury on charges related to a drug distribution conspiracy in the Gilmor Homes public housing complex in West Baltimore. Among those indicted was Romesh Mustafa Vance, 20, who along with his brother was one of four high-risk students whose journey to attend the Baraka School in Kenya on scholarship was captured in the acclaimed documentary "The Boys of Baraka."
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | July 27, 2000
A school in Kenya for at-risk Baltimore youth will remain open for at least another year under an agreement reached between the city school system and the nonprofit foundation that runs it. The Baraka School, which had been threatened with closure because of funding problems, will reopen in September under the supervision of a new headmaster, said Robert C. Embry Jr., president of the Abell Foundation, which established the school four years ago. ...
NEWS
By Stephen Henderson and Stephen Henderson,SUN STAFF | June 18, 1997
Cheryl Nixon had waited eight months, three weeks and one day to see Daniel Mercer, the 12-year-old son she sent off to rural Kenya for the educational experience of a lifetime. But the past few hours, spent pacing at Dulles International Airport, nearly did her in."He hasn't even been around the corner from our house this long before," Nixon said, the strings from a cluster of balloons clutched in her hand and nearly a year of anticipation and worry creeping across her face. "His whole life, when you saw one of us you saw the other."
NEWS
By Michael James and Marilyn McCraven and Michael James and Marilyn McCraven,SUN STAFF | September 21, 1996
For 21 at-risk Baltimore City public middle school boys, the school year officially starts Monday -- in rural Kenya.The youths, who are flying to the East African country this weekend accompanied by chaperons, were selected from 45 applicants for the inaugural class of the Baraka School, a program that promises a life-transforming experience far from the crime and degradation of Baltimore streets."
NEWS
June 16, 2000
THIS IS how the Abell Foundation works: Come up with an innovative idea, create it and fund it -- then get someone else to pay the tab and move on to the next big thing. There's nothing wrong with that approach. And unquestionably, there are sturdy programs all over the Baltimore area that were first erected by Abell. But the Baraka School is different. For this program to continue to educate male middle-schoolers in Kenya, Abell wants the city schools to step in and supplant its support.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and JoAnna Daemmrich and Liz Bowie and JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF | June 15, 2000
Under pressure from parents, Baltimore school officials have promised to come up with more money to try to keep a pioneering program that educates city youths in Kenya going for another year. The city school board agreed to pick up a larger share of the tuition at the Baraka School, a private boarding school for boys set up by the nonprofit Abell Foundation. School board members directed their staff to negotiate with the foundation for the next two days to determine an "appropriate" contribution.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | July 27, 2000
A school in Kenya for at-risk Baltimore youth will remain open for at least another year under an agreement reached between the city school system and the nonprofit foundation that runs it. The Baraka School, which had been threatened with closure because of funding problems, will reopen in September under the supervision of a new headmaster, said Robert C. Embry Jr., president of the Abell Foundation, which established the school four years ago. ...
NEWS
June 16, 2000
THIS IS how the Abell Foundation works: Come up with an innovative idea, create it and fund it -- then get someone else to pay the tab and move on to the next big thing. There's nothing wrong with that approach. And unquestionably, there are sturdy programs all over the Baltimore area that were first erected by Abell. But the Baraka School is different. For this program to continue to educate male middle-schoolers in Kenya, Abell wants the city schools to step in and supplant its support.
NEWS
By Stephen Henderson and Stephen Henderson,SUN STAFF | June 18, 1997
Cheryl Nixon had waited eight months, three weeks and one day to see Daniel Mercer, the 12-year-old son she sent off to rural Kenya for the educational experience of a lifetime. But the past few hours, spent pacing at Dulles International Airport, nearly did her in."He hasn't even been around the corner from our house this long before," Nixon said, the strings from a cluster of balloons clutched in her hand and nearly a year of anticipation and worry creeping across her face. "His whole life, when you saw one of us you saw the other."
NEWS
By Ellen Gamerman and Dan Fesperman and Ellen Gamerman and Dan Fesperman,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Jean Thompson contributed to this article | October 23, 1996
An ambitious program meant to educate inner-city children in Kenya has suffered an early setback after three children were sent back to Baltimore -- accused of misbehaving while adjusting to life in a dramatically foreign landscape thousands of miles from home.The three youngsters were returned to the city after having trouble with "adolescent behavioral stuff," said Craig Dempsey, director of Project Choice, which recommended them for the program. Dempsey confirmed that the children were accused of thefts, throwing rocks at cars, threatening locals and setting fires.
NEWS
By Michael James and Marilyn McCraven and Michael James and Marilyn McCraven,SUN STAFF | September 21, 1996
For 21 at-risk Baltimore City public middle school boys, the school year officially starts Monday -- in rural Kenya.The youths, who are flying to the East African country this weekend accompanied by chaperons, were selected from 45 applicants for the inaugural class of the Baraka School, a program that promises a life-transforming experience far from the crime and degradation of Baltimore streets."
NEWS
By Makeda Crane and Makeda Crane,Sun reporter | August 3, 2008
UniSun recently caught up with 18-year-old Devon Brown, one of 20 boys from the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Baltimore who was chosen to attend the Baraka School in Kenya, a two-year experimental boarding school that was supposed to separate the students from their city lives in hopes that they would focus on their education while in Africa. Brown is one of the success stories from the program. Last spring, he graduated from the Academy for College and Career Exploration. Later this month, he will attend the Maryland Institute College of Art on a full scholarship from the Abell Foundation, which also sponsored the Boys of Baraka project.
NEWS
August 11, 2000
The Baraka School doesn't discriminate or waste public funds Recent Sun reporting has done much to clarify some of the key issues surrounding both the operation of and financial support to the Baraka School in Kenya ("Agreement reached on funding for Baraka School," July 27). Nevertheless, some serious misperceptions about the four-year-old institution for at-risk Baltimore City middle-schoolers. still linger and need to be dispelled: The Baraka School does not discriminate based on racial or ethnicity.
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