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Promise Heights
University of Maryland School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

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Promise Heights In The News

Promise Heights is looking for YOU!

Jennifer Hasselbusch

Promise Heights is looking to hire a Social Worker for the Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary School and the community of Promise Heights. This person would receive referrals from teachers for students in the General Student population to identify emotional and social strengths and needs to determine optimal interventions that promote school readiness for children from birth to the age of 5. To view the full job description and apply, visit                           Please note that this posting will close on September 7

We are  also looking for our next cohort of PromiseCorps members. These individuals in this stipended position will join the Promise Heights team for the 2018-2019 school year and work in the five Upton/Druid Heights schools. Members are supervised by our Community School Coordinators and work with BCPS teachers to conduct assessment and make referrals for chronically absent students. To view the full job description and apply, visit

IMPORTANT: Applications for either position must be completed through the UMB Career portal.

Please share with your network or anyone you feel would be a good fit!

The Community Schools National Forum honors Hallie Atwater with the Community School Coordinator Award for 2018

Jennifer Hasselbusch

H. Atwater.jpg

Congratulations to the AMAZING Hallie Atwater for receiving the National Community School Coordinator Award!

Her work with the Renaissance Academy High School #433 school community will be recognized at the 2018 National Forum in Baltimore on May 2-4. She's being honored for developing over 40 school-community partnerships, focusing on issues of social justice and violence prevention, and lifting up youth and family voices to successfully advocate to keep the school open.

Click to learn more about the Community Schools National Forum Leadership Awardee winners  

Hope to see you in May for the big event! #Partner4Equity

"Get Hype" - The Booker T. Washington Brass Band is featured by Johns Hopkins Magazine

Jennifer Hasselbusch

If you take the time to peruse the 2017 Winter edition of the Johns Hopkins Magazine, you may find some familiar faces in their article titled, "Get hype: OrchKids and the creation of the Booker T. Washington Brass Band." It showcases extraordinary collaboration of students from Booker T. Washington Middle School under the guidance of the BSO OrchKids program. This partnership began in 2014 and has blossomed into the robust performance group The Booker T. Washington Brass Band. Led by Khandeya Shepard and Belinda Ceasar from OrchKids beside with Jared Perry, who also serves as BTW music director, creativity and self-expression are encouraged while helping students learn and perfect their craft. Watch the below video for a taste of what these kids are serving!

We could not be prouder of our kids at Booker T. Washington Middle School and are excited to see what they will do in the years to come.

Join the Promise Heights team!

Jennifer Hasselbusch

We are currently looking for a new person to join our team!


  • Conduct social work assessments that examine risk and strengths of children and their families who attend the Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts (BTW).
  • Develop service plans by identifying evidence based or informed programs and services available for a variety of client issues dealing with challenges, strengths, change and crisis. Establish and monitor the connection between the service providers and individual children and their families.
  • Participate on the school’s leadership team and support the principal’s vision for school day and after-school program curriculum to the fullest extent possible.
  • Provide training, guidance, and support to teachers, school administrators, and staff as well as other community partners regarding issues including mental health, poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, physical abuse, rehabilitation, social adjustment, child care, and /or medical care.
  • Maintain case records and document client(s) progress.  May perform chart reviews and generates notes on evaluations, therapy sessions, reports, and other accountability measures.
  • Participate in capacity-building activities, including initiative-wide and site-based training, network meetings and study visits, and with the principal ensure the participation of other site-based staff as needed or required.
  • Train social work interns working at BTW.
  • Use traditional and non-traditional communication channels such as social media and other web technologies.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Education: Masters in Social Work
  • License/Certification: Licensed as Graduate Social Work (LGSW) in the State of Maryland
  • Preferred Experience: Two years working with low-income communities


  • Knowledge of best practices in the field as well as relevant federal, state, and local rules, regulations, and programs/policies utilizing proper application of diagnostic tools.     
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to effectively interact with a diverse client population using various approved interviewing techniques and consultative approaches. Ability to work as part of a team, as well as with individuals and/or families from diverse ethnic, racial, and social-economic backgrounds. Demonstrated leadership ability, effective verbal and written communication skills, and capacity for creative problem-solving, conflict resolution.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of client information in accordance with professional standards, HIPAA (Health Information Portability  &  Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) and state regulations.
  • Strong written and oral community skills as well as proficiency in information technology work processing, spreadsheets, and databases.

For more information or to apply, please visit This posting has been extended until January 16th!

Please pass on to any individuals that you think would be a great fit for our team!

Parent University I 9 Graduates in the news!

Jennifer Hasselbusch

This past Tuesday, November 7th, marked graduation day for the 9th class of Parent University. While this occasion that has always been a wonderful way to wrap up the class, this past Tuesday WJZ 13 reporter Mike Schuh stopped by to learn more about our program and families. Watch his segment here.

Thank you Mike and WJZ for meeting our parents and showing off the great work they are doing to improve the lives of their kids.

Our next round of Parent University I will begin in late February. For more information contact Britney Pitts, Parent University I Coordinator.


Strange Fruit wins big at the Baltimore International Black Youth Film Fest

Jennifer Hasselbusch

Strange Fruit is a short film created by Renaissance Academy students, working under Ras Tre Subira of Griot’s Eye, about their experiences growing up in the Upton/Druid Heights neighborhood and how police brutality has affected their lives. Filmed during the 16-17 school year and submitted to the Baltimore International Black Film Festival for their Youth Film Fest, the students walked away with the honor of Best Film.

Congratulations to all of the individuals involved with the creation of this project.

Special thanks to MSDE, who partially funded the program through the 21st CCLC program awarded to Promise Heights.

You can learn more about the Baltimore International Black Film Festival by visiting their website.

Renaissance Academy Renovations Unveiled on September 18, 2017

Jennifer Hasselbusch

Renaissance Academy Senior Tyshaun Wallace speaks to Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson after the press conference on Monday, September 18, 2017.

Renaissance Academy Senior Tyshaun Wallace speaks to Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson after the press conference on Monday, September 18, 2017.

A press conference on Monday, September 18th, marked the official unveiling of extensive renovations to Renaissance Academy High School. Started at the end of the 2016-2107 school year, the project was funded by a generous donation of $1.5 million byThe Baltimore Ravens to Baltimore City Public Schools after seeing multiple stories about the dedication of RA students and the community to the school.

Speakers at the event included Baltimore City Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, Ravens President Dick Cass, Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson, CEO of BCPS Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, University of Maryand Baltimore President Jay Perman, and RA Principal Nikkia Rowe. Improvements made to the school include:

  • Classrooms modified to increase office space for social workers and mentors who need private settings to provide counseling services to students.
  • New food pantry and laundry room
  • Updated science and art rooms.
  • A large student common area.
  • Cosmetic and beautification to throughout the school and complete re-do of the lobby.

Perhaps Nikkia Rowe, RA Principal, says it best.

"At Renaissance, we always speak to 'changing the outcome,' and we are humbled by the leap of faith taken by the entire Ravens organization."

Thank you to the Baltimore Ravens for improving the lives of our students and teachers!

Read more about the press conference:

Video coverage:

  • CBS            
  • WBAL        


photo credit: Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun and Betsy Stein, University of Maryland Baltimore

Stacey Stephens presents for the US Dept. of Defense

Jennifer Hasselbusch

B'more for Healthy Babies Upton/Druid Heights Director, Stacey Stephens, presented at the Department of Defense's Fatality Review Summit in July in Alexandria, VA. She and Dr. Shelly Choo, Senior Medical Advisor of the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health at the Baltimore City Health Department, presented on the B'more for Healthy Babies SLEEP Safe Campaign. Read bit more about the Summit and their presentation here.

The Parent University Program is spotlighted in a national publication.

Jennifer Hasselbusch

An article written by Dr. Kyla Liggett-Creel, Britney Pitts, Bronwyn Mayden and Richard P. Barth will be published by the Children and Youth Services Review in their fall issue, Volume 81, October 2017.

The Parent University Program: Factors predicting change in responsive parenting behaviors


Few evidence-based parenting programs exist for children under the age of three and even fewer have been rigorously evaluated in comparison to parenting programs for older children. The Parent University Program (PUP), was developed to serve parents with children birth through three who lived in southwest Baltimore. Parent-child dyads (N = 86) participated in the parenting program with the goal of increasing responsive parenting skills.

Participants of the PUP showed a significant increase in responsive parenting behaviors. Participants in this open trial study who completed pre-test, post-test, and follow-up assessments showed a significant change from clinical to non-clinical status after attending the PUP. Neither the type of facilitator nor the number of hours attended showed an association with changing parenting behaviors. The age of the child was associated with the change in responsive parenting. Parents of older children in the birth to three age range had higher scores at pre-test and showed less change over time. The results of this study suggest that the Parent University Program was associated with positive change in responsive parenting behaviors for parents with children birth through three years of age.

Citation: Liggett-Creel, K., Barth, R. P., Mayden, B., & Pitts, B. E. (2017). The Parent University Program: Factors predicting change in responsive parenting behaviors. Children And Youth Services Review, 8110-20. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.07.017

You can download and read the full article via the Science Direct website. Congratulations to Ms. Pitts on her first publication and Dr. Liggett-Creel for the success of the program.