Max Poole, a sophomore at UMBC, has distinguished himself as a rising leader with a commitment to education and empowerment. He started his UMBC career in fall 2014 as a resident of The Shriver Living Learning Community, a residential floor of students committed to service in our local community. He also is a member of the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, an academic program of students aspiring to careers in service of the public interest in government, non-profit organizations, corporations, and the community. He is in his fourth semester serving at Arbutus Middle School's Arbutus Achievers, an afterschool program and collaboration with the Maryland-DC Campus Compact (MDCCC). As a freshman, Max was selected by the MDCCC AmeriCorps/VISTA as the Site Supervisor and as an organizer of the school's "March to College Day." As an aspiring teacher, Max is always seeking opportunities to challenge himself. His work with noted choreographer Liz Lerman to create a plan for a site featuring her "toolbox" of collaborative techniques assisted him in identifying more effective systems of learning that meet the needs of disengaged youth. Max's exemplary leadership and sustained commitment to improving educational opportunities for youth is helping to improve the lives of others.
I am passionate about taking the love others have given me and expanding it throughout the world. When my grandmother died of cancer, I was heartbroken. To honor her memory, my friends and I started a charity concert series. We provided a safe and fun place for students to express themselves and the $1,000 we raised went towards cancer research. My grandmother was an educator and inspired me to lead the Arbutus Achievers program. As coordinator of the program, I lead a group of tutors who work one-on-one with students. We make sure they love their schools and themselves. We provide both education and emotional support for these students through the difficulty of middle school. I also run the program in memory of my mentor, Nick Ramundo, who died during my first semester running the Arbutus Achievers. He was beloved by both the students and the tutors in our program. My team and I had to both explain his death and honor his memory with our group of middle school students. I am passionate about making my community a better place by carrying on the love that Nick and my grandmother brought to the world.