Aiming for the stars doesn’t mean you have to forget where on earth you came from.
“East Baltimore is my old neighborhood,” says Brittany Kelly, Accel. ’14. It’s where she grew up giving back, volunteering with her grandmother through her church and other local organizations. It’s what she thought of as she worked with young girls in South Carolina at risk for gang violence, “a population very similar to Baltimore – I felt a connection.”
Proud of her heritage, she chose Benedict College for its status among Historically Black Colleges and Universities. There she was part of a team cloning microgravity cells (with funding from Minority Biomedical Research and NASA) “to hopefully develop medications that could help astronauts with muscle atrophy when they return back home.” In choosing where to obtain her nursing education, Kelly decided to return to Baltimore, describing Hopkins as the perfect choice based on its reputation and location alone. “With my connections to East Baltimore, I know I can give back. I can make a difference. I can even be a voice for Johns Hopkins: ‘We’re here to help.’ ”
Kelly plans to stay in Baltimore after her studies (she hopes to become a master of public health and nurse practitioner). For now, she’s up to her ears in the summer BSN curriculum. “I’m embracing the challenge,” Kelly says. “I’m pushing myself harder than I’ve ever pushed myself.”
A recipient of the John I. and Marilyn S. Mandler Scholarship, Kelly wants to combine community outreach with a holistic approach to nursing, caring for patients “physically, emotionally, even spiritually.” Being home to study nursing is a dream come true. And the scholarship, she reports, “is an added blessing.”
John I. and Marilyn S. Mandler Scholarship
The John I. and Marilyn S. Mandler Scholarship was established for graduate or undergraduate nursing students by Marilyn Mandler, ’56, in memory of her husband, John I. Mandler, a 1956 graduate of the School of Medicine.