Choice Program Opens Third Flying Fruit Café in UB School of Law
February 19, 2016
Contact: University Relations
The Choice Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has opened its third Flying Fruit location at the University of Baltimore School of Law, as part of its job training program which serves 200 youth annually and places nearly 100 youth in subsidized and unsubsidized jobs each year. The new Flying Fruit Café is located on the sixth floor of the University of Baltimore’s John and Frances Angelos Law Center (home of the UB School of Law), 1401 N. Charles St.
A celebration of the new location was held on Feb. 18, with UB President Kurt Schmoke, UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, AmeriCorps opportunity youth, city officials and Choice Program board members and supporters in attendance.
The new location offers year-round job training and employment skills development for Baltimore area youth, with coaching, mentoring, and structured engagement activities provided by AmeriCorps members.
"UB is pleased to partner with UMBC's Choice Program to establish the Flying Fruit Café at the law school," said Victoria Schultz, associate dean for administration at the School of Law. "The café is a wonderful addition to UB that builds community in so many ways. It is a lively gathering spot as well as a training ground for AmeriCorps fellows and Baltimore youth that builds leadership skills and opportunity. All this while delivering great coffee, smoothies and food: who can beat that?"
The Choice Program also operates a Flying Fruit stand at Camden Yards during the baseball season and a Flying Fruit kiosk at the Inner Harbor behind the Maryland Science Center from April to October.
"Having a job and the skills to be successful in a work environment are essential. Most of us can remember how important our first job felt," said LaMar Davis, director of The Choice Program. "Our youth need access to the opportunities that match their potential. This café offers a year-round on-the-job supported employment training model that helps young people enter into the world of work, building confidence and competencies."
The Choice Program at UMBC is a highly successful national model for community-based intervention that has served more than 20,000 youth and their families from Maryland’s highest risk communities for more than 27 years. AmeriCorps members provide critical contact, mentoring, and advocacy to young people involved in the juvenile justice and social services systems. The program’s partnership with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services extends for more than 25 years. Focus areas of intervention include education, employment, family involvement, and community supervision. The program works within high poverty communities to reduce external obstacles to youth and family success. Last year, 92 percent of participating youth completed the program and were not adjudicated with new charges.
(Featured in the photo on UB's homepage, from left: UB President Kurt Schmoke, Matt Smith and Daesha Johnson, both Choice Program participants, and UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski. The photo was taken during the café's ribbon cutting ceremony, held on Feb. 18.)
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.