The Little Dan That Could (or at least can/ is kinda halfway there)

Great things happen here. No I was not paid to write that... Though donations are accepted

One of the best parts of the Hopkins experience,aside from being the 10th best university in the US (had to throw that in somewhere)

Can't accuse me of being subtle

Can’t accuse me of being subtle

is the ease with which students can turn their passions from mere personal interests, into large dedicated initiatives. For three years now I’ve been planning to start a student organization. I wrote about the organization on one of my college essays ( Mr. Nance if you’re reading this, thanks for the support… and If you have any experience with Excel, i can offer you a position as treasurer!) where essentially I wanted to create a mentor-ship program to expose kids from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds, to the multitude of cultural opportunities here in Baltimore. Elementary aged students would be paired with a mentor passionate about the arts, who would accompany them to various artistic events in Baltimore and correspond with them regularly. Think an Art history major taking students to the BMA, or a Peabody student going with a student to the opera.

Picture this, but fewer Hungarian opera houses, and many more 4th graders

Blue-eyed freshman year JHU_Dan came to school chomping at the bit, eager to advertise his idea, recruit members, and get things other way. Like most of the other important things I’ve ever done in my life, I soon let that naive drive give way to the sweet comforts of procrastination. It’s taken three years, but thanks to some lovely motivation from my girlfriend, and this indelible sense that I owe it at the very least to myself to give starting the club a shot, I’ve finally started the process of turning my organization into a reality.

Creating a club at Hopkins can take a number of different forms, based primarily on the intended purpose of the organization. An organization like mine, dedicated to community outreach and service falls under the jurisdiction (in this case at least) of the Center for Social Concern. So I scheduled an appointment with Gia Greer, an adviser there, and we met to discuss the process of creating the club.

Great things happen here. No I was not paid to write that... Though donations are accepted

Great things happen here. No I was not paid to write that… Though donations are accepted

It’s much a much more intensive process than I initially thought; with a lengthy and quite thorough application. The form requires evidence of the need the organization will be addressing (in my case statistical evidence of disparities in access to the arts for children from different socio-economic backgrounds) and proof of contact with a dedicated community partner. But with Gia’s help I’ve been able to navigate through most of it. She even introduced me to educators at a local arts integration elementary school to get the ball rolling.

I hope to have the forms completed and funding approved ASAP, and have trained mentors with concrete plans for events starting as early as next semester! While I still have a lot of work to do, with the guidance of people here at Hopkins, and a simple e-mail asking for an appointment, my dream is slowly turning into a reality!