Last spring, I asked my staff a simple question: “If you were the senior vice president for a day, what would you do differently?”

I received many insightful, thoughtful responses, but I was struck particularly by one idea. One person said they would allocate some time for members of our teams to support community outreach and improvement projects, and provide modest financial support to help implement that work. I immediately thought that this was a powerful concept that also perfectly aligns with Hopkins’ ongoing goals to better support our most underserved neighborhoods. But our time and funds are limited, and they have to be astutely used and invested.

So, we decided to invite all marketing and communications staff members to submit proposals, and the Johns Hopkins Community Outreach Program was born! The projects were  reviewed by a departmental committee and three were chosen: one involving bicycle safety in the city, another helping high school students become stronger writers, and another in which a ramshackle city park would be revitalized. Five months later, we found that all three accomplished their wonderful aims and had measurable outcomes, and all three came to fruition — touching the lives of members of our community in an impactful way.

I am immensely proud of and grateful to my colleagues who came up with the concept and volunteered and participated to make these ideas a reality.

Please watch the testimonials, which was created here in our department, documenting the projects’ journeys!

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