In Spring 2015, a team of Johns Hopkins University students became enthusiastic consultants on resource development and PR opportunities for Main Street Housing through JHU’s Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations chapter. Thomas Bernstein (’16, Biomedical Engineering), Apricot Tang (’17, International Studies), Alessandra Golden (’18, Cognitive Science & English), Tariro Makoni (’18, Public Health & International Studies) and Samuel Jackson (’18, International Studies & Economics) first met with MSH staff to learn about the organization’s mission, value proposition and goals for improving public awareness and support. Throughout their semester, the team brainstormed, researched and presented options for a fundraising event and more dynamic outreach materials to enhance MSH’s current resource development and marketing activities.
While many team members had previous experience volunteering with non-profit organizations or studying public health strategies, learning about the “Main Street Model” brought these young adults living in Baltimore City a new level of insight about the critical role that housing plays in both personal and community wellness.
“The project was extremely unique,” explained Apricot Tang. “Understanding the communal demand for public sector organizations like Main Street Housing forced me to acknowledge the fact that sometimes, as a community, we simply aren't doing enough. I was so glad to be able to partake in [this] project.”
The team’s recommendations helped strengthen and invigorate MSH’s planning for upcoming events and enhanced outreach materials. “My experience working with MSH was extremely rewarding,” said Sam Jackson. “I was able to make an impact as well as learn the ins and outs of how MSH serves society.”
Tom Bernstein, team lead, agreed. “I really enjoyed working with Main Street Housing because it was not only an opportunity for me to gain consulting and leadership experience but also a chance to work with an organization that is making a real impact both in our local Baltimore community and also within the state of Maryland.”