ECYP focuses on preparing students in Maryland's 7th congressional district to serve as open-minded leaders with the skills, community ties, and global exposure critical to success in a diverse society. All programming is influenced by the longstanding relationship between Congressman Cummings and the Baltimore Jewish Council.
Each fellow begins the program as a junior in high school and must go through the program's two year, three step process:
1. Leadership Development
2. The Israel Experience (summer between junior and senior year)
3. Community Service
A generous gift in memory of Jerold C. Hoffberger provides for ECYP Fellows to participate in two years of hands-on leadership enhancement workshops and events that occur afterschool and during the summer.
Fellows meet once or twice a month to participate in leadership activities that focus on:
Social justice training, meeting with representatives at and touring the US Capitol, Maryland State House, and visiting Baltimore City Hall.
To help facilitate these goals, ECYP is also in partnership with The Associated's Students Taking Action for Change (STAC) teen program. ECYP & STAC meet four times each year to create dialogue between our diverse teen groups and work on student-led projects.
The Baltmore Jewish Council (BJC) and ECYP team up in a fellow's second year for a year-long program that builds relationships between teens of various faiths and ethnic backgrounds to prepare them to serve as community ambassadors on diversity and inclusion. At the end of a fellow's second year in the program, they will be able to faciliate conversations among their peer groups on racism, anti-Semitism, diversity and social justice.
After the first year of ECYP, ECYP Fellows travel to Israel over the summer for one month. Fellows reside at Yemin Orde, a youth village in Haifa that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. ECYP is proud to have Yemin Orde Youth Village as a partner since 1998.
Fellows are paired with Israeli teens with ancestry from over 24 countries including Brazil, Ethiopia, Germany and Russia. Together, the American and Israeli teens tour modern and historic sites in Israel, such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, the Jordan River and the Dead Sea.
When not traveling, these young leaders participate in daily workshops on diversity, conflict-resolution, and leadership. This exciting time away from home helps students gain independence, learn more about themselves and develop respect for others.
Upon returning from Israel, Fellows put their leadership skills to the test. Fellows speak in their communities about the importance of diversity and mentor middle school students.
Sample speaking venues include the W.E.B. DuBois Circle, the Congressional Black Caucus, 100 Black Men of America, the Hispanic Youth Institute Diversity Day, and the Jewish Teen Leadership Council. Fellows also engage dozens of church and synagogue congregations.
ECYP's chief community service partner is KIPP Ujima Village Academy. ECYP Fellows currently mentor eighth grade students at KIPP once per month to build bonds and study.
The group takes quarterly team-building field-trips. Fellows may also work on community service projects with partners such as Habitat for Humanity and Art with a Heart.
ECYP played such a central role in the formulation of my world view. It was the perfect exposure at the right time in my life.