Baltimore First

Baltimore First supports students in their journey to better understand our city and their place in it. We hope you will consider joining us!


Founded in 2017 by a group of students seeking a more reciprocal and sustainable model of service on campus, Baltimore First became one of three Center for Social Concern student initiatives. It’s unique in the fact that it’s the CSC’s first and only individualized direct service program that serves as a catalyst for students looking to expand their philosophy of service and engage more intentionally alongside community organizations in Baltimore.

As a student-led program of the CSC, Baltimore First provides an opportunity for JHU students at all stages civic engagement to engage with the Baltimore community while simultaneously learning about complex systems and structures of power, privilege and oppression. Baltimore First supports students in their journey in exploring their own intersecting identities while understanding and coming to terms with the ways in which they engage in the world more broadly. For community organizations, Baltimore First provides a steady, sustainable volunteer force, committed to filling in gaps as needed and building overall capacity. Six student leaders are selected for the executive board annually and roughly 100 students serve as participants in the program each semester.

We envision a Baltimore in which Hopkins students are connected to our Baltimore community. 

Our mission is to create a culture of active citizenship at Hopkins through meaningful volunteer experiences, education & reflection, and reciprocal relationships with community organizations and local nonprofits.

  • Equity: We aim to leverage the resources of our institution to help build capacity of our Baltimore community alongside our Community Partners in an effort to ensure that all entities in our City have access to the means they need to succeed. 
  • Connection: We aspire to facilitate an interdependent community among our volunteers, Community Partners, and the neighborhoods we serve. Rather than subscribing to short-term relationships, volunteers immerse themselves into meaningful alliances with community members, upholding a lasting support system and permanently bridging their worlds.
  • Mutually Beneficial Partnerships: We seek to create ties between volunteers and community partners that strengthen and empower Baltimore. By supporting Community Partners, students grow and (un)learn from experiential opportunities within our Baltimore community. 
  • Education: We endeavor to educate volunteers on the underlying social issues that Community Partners address, as well as the importance of intentional community service and reflection.
  • Intentionality: We strive to move our students along the active citizenship continuum by motivating them to break out of the “Hopkins Bubble”. Through a sustained commitment to a Community Partner, our volunteers become more cognizant of underlying social issues pervasive throughout our Baltimore Community. This level of community engagement is values-aligned and rooted in an authentic commitment to our City.
299 People | 2,018 Impacts | 4,522 Hours | 141,484 Total Economic Impact

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