BLSYW was founded in 2008 by Brenda Brown Rever, a prominent Baltimore women’s advocate who identified a need for a school focused on the success of girls and young women who can become the next leaders of Baltimore. Working closely with Baltimore City Public Schools leadership, Brown Rever established the first all-girls charter middle and high school in Baltimore, which opened its doors to a founding class of 120 sixth grade students in the fall of 2009. After the school’s first year, BLSYW moved to its new location in the former YWCA at the corner of Franklin Street and Park Avenue, growing each year to welcome a new class.
BLSYW enrolls more than 500 students in grades six through twelve, offering a comprehensive all-girls’ experience unique in the city of Baltimore. Open to all Baltimore City young women, BLSYW accepts students through a lottery process with no admissions testing or screening. Ninety-eight percent of the student body and 65% of faculty are people of color.
Through a rigorous and supportive program of academics, arts, athletics, and social-emotional learning, BLSYW seeks to instill P.R.I.D.E.— professionalism, respect, integrity, diligence, and enthusiasm—and prepare girls to thrive as learners and leaders in school and beyond. The school’s goal is to create a perpetual pipeline of homegrown, exceptional, diverse, female change-makers to provide Baltimore with the civic and business leadership it needs for a future of achievement.
BLSYW supports academic, emotional, and social growth through its four targeted program anchors – “Academics: Excellence and Enrichment,” “Leadership: Girl Power,” “S.T.E.A.M.: Girls Only,” and “Destination: College.” As a public charter school, BLSYW is publicly funded, with additional support for enrichment activities and professional development coming from the Foundation for BLSYW.
A proud product of Baltimore City Schools, Brenda Brown Rever has dedicated her life to issues affecting the health, independence and voice of women. Having spent a great deal of time advocating for adult women dealing with the effects of abuse, unhealthy life choices and the need for a helping hand, she marveled at the journey from childhood that made a woman determine and declare her own worth. In a “eureka” moment, Brenda says, “I just wasn’t reaching them early enough.”
In 2008, in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools, Brenda blazed the trail to transform secondary (middle and high) school education in the city. She worked closely with district leadership to form the first all-girls middle and high school in Baltimore. Over the course of more than one year, she planned and diligently rounded up a circle of friends, supporters and champions of Baltimore to create a school that would focus on leadership, college preparation, strong academics and best practices for girls and young women. The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women is modeled on Brenda’s knowledge and respect for the highly successful Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem (TYWLS) and is a proud affiliate of the national Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN).
The story of BLSYW is, at its heart, a story of philanthropy. The school owes its existence—and its continuing excellence—to the generosity of private individuals. Philanthropy allows BLSYW to provide students and staff with the resources needed to ensure academic growth, social and emotional enrichment, extracurricular experiences and exposure to a multitude of college and career opportunities.
Charitable contributions to the Foundation for BLSYW have provided a financial foundation for the actualization of the school’s mission and vision, while also having a significant impact on the trajectory of students’ lives. Since the school’s founding, the Development Office has been essential to the school’s operation: securing funding from local and national foundations; building a committed base of individual annual supporters; and, working with the school’s Board of Trustees, which includes state, local, civic and business leaders, and their networks. BLSYW raises an average of $1 million per year from more than 400 donors.
To ensure the sustainability of its mission, the school seeks an entrepreneurial and experienced professional to lead the Development Office. The Director of Development will be a results-oriented leader who will build on the strengths of the existing fundraising efforts to create a highly professional, donor-centered development program. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and the Chair of the Foundation Board, the Director of Development will nurture positive relationships with all stakeholders, including BLSYW students, alumnae, faculty, a highly engaged Board of Directors, and donors. This person will assume responsibility for the planning, implementation and management of annual and major fundraising efforts for the benefit of BLSYW and its students. This will include identifying, strategizing, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding a robust portfolio of donors and prospects. Above all, the Director of Development will have a deep and demonstrated passion for the mission and vision of BLSYW.
Leadership and Staff Management
Please email your resume in confidence to:
Development Guild DDI
All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.