The commitment of a diverse leadership group serving as Baltimore's Promise's Board of Directors, which includes foundations, nonprofits, businesses, elected officials, and university presidents makes this effort unique. The Board of Directors includes:
*Mark Lerner and Patrick McCarthy serve as the Co-Chairs of Baltimore’s Promise.
Julia Baez, a Baltimore City resident and native Baltimorean, began her career as a middle school Spanish teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools. She then went on to become a Program Director and later, Acting Executive Director at Southeast Youth Academy, a 21st Century Community Learning Center in Southeast Baltimore serving middle and high school students after-school and in the summer.
Julia joined Family League in 2012 as Senior Director of Initiatives. In this role, Julia led the development and expansion of Family League’s signature initiative, the Community Schools Strategy. In this capacity, Julia managed Family League’s Pre-K through College Continuum, which includes community Schools, the Snack & Supper Program, Out of School Time, Summer Learning, and Program Quality/Professional Development. Julia later became the Chief Strategy Officer for Family League of Baltimore. In this role, Julia was responsible for systems building, evaluation and quality, professional development and coordinating Family League’s collective impact strategies across the age span continuum to ensure families smoothly transition from early childhood through to college and the workforce.
Prior to joining Family League, Julia served as a Family and Community Engagement Specialist for Turnaround Schools within Baltimore City Public Schools. During her time at City Schools Julia coordinated work around Title I, Fair Student Funding, Policy and Family and Community Engagement.
Julia graduated from Dickinson College with a focus on International and Latin American Studies. While at Dickinson Julia wrote for a monthly magazine focusing on diversity and social justice and was awarded the Harriet Tubman Visionary Award for her passion and commitment to equity. She completed her teaching certification coursework at the Johns Hopkins University and holds certification as a National Coalition Building Institute Trainer & Consultant.
In 2015, The Daily Record honored Julia as a Leading Woman in Maryland. Julia received an Award for Excellence in 2015 on behalf of the Baltimore Community School Strategy during the Institute of Educational Leadership’s Leadership Awards ceremony. She also is a recipient of the National Coalition for Community Schools Individual Initiative Leader Award for 2014.
Additional honors include the Maryland State Department of Education Excellence in After School Award (2006), the 1st Cesar Chavez Award for Outstanding Leadership in Social Justice (May 2004), and the Social Responsibility Award of Excellence from the Y in Central Maryland (2016.)
Julia lives in Northeast Baltimore, one mile away from her childhood home where her parents currently reside, with her husband Otilio (Jr.) and two children, Otilio (III) and Olivia.
Janelle Gendrano is the Senior Director of Programs and focuses on the implementation of strategies and initiatives across the cradle to career continuum. Prior to joining Baltimore’s Promise, she served as a Program Associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
She began her career in secondary and post-secondary education, first as a Social Studies teacher in New York City public schools and later as an advisor and instructor with Challenge to Achievement at Pace, a program designed to support academically underprepared first-year students at Pace University. Janelle has also served as a curriculum consultant for multiple organizations including New York Needs You, a mentoring and career readiness program for first-generation college students, and The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation’s TeachRock initiative.
Janelle planted roots in Baltimore after being selected as a National Urban Fellow and conducting her fellowship at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. At Casey, she worked closely with the Baltimore Civic Site team on issues at the intersection of education and community development. Post-fellowship, Janelle formally joined the Baltimore team as a Program Associate. In this role, she led the Foundation’s citywide investments in out of school time, managed Casey’s role in citywide summer systems-building, oversaw the Foundation's partnership with an early childhood center and K-8 school in East Baltimore, and structured education-related investments aimed at improving outcomes for Opportunity Youth and young adults at risk of disconnection from school and work.
Janelle received a B.A. from Rutgers University; a M.A. in Social Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a M.P.A. from The City University of New York, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs via the National Urban Fellows program at Baruch College. She lives in Reservoir Hill with her husband Matthew and their dog, Gus.
Josh Morgan previously served as a regional Data Coordinator with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, where he assisted 17 local education agencies in reporting their student data along state and federal guidelines. He also served as a Research Assistant at the University of South Alabama, where he published quantitative research on the social, psychological, and economic impacts of disasters in local communities. His quantitative research on the decline of social trust in the United States has been featured by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, the Washington Post, and Mental Floss magazine. He received BA and MA degrees in Sociology from the University of South Alabama.
Josh is committed to using data analysis as a tool for social good. He and his wife live near the Mount Washington area in Baltimore City.
Ashley Black, an education and non-profit professional, recognizes the inclusion of diverse community voices as the cornerstone of effective and lasting impact. She comes with an array of experiences: From working directly with students as an Achievement Coach with Higher Achievement, to developing and implementing programs for high-school aged youth and their communities, to designing marketing campaigns for non-profit organizations like PEAKS Over Poverty and the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. As a Baltimore Corps Fellow, Ashley is looking forward to utilizing her passions for education, research, and collaboration to support communications and engage with community stakeholders.
Ashley received her B.S. from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in Applied Economics and Management, with Africana Studies and Inequality Studies minors. Currently, she is pursuing her MA in Applied Sociology at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).