On Thursday, May 6, 2021, Governor Larry Hogan announced the launch of Project Bounce Back, a $25 million first-in-the-nation public-private partnership to help Maryland youth recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This series of initiatives will provide strategic mental health services, expand the footprint of youth development programs, and develop an innovative, data-driven digital solution to build post-COVID resilience among Maryland’s youth, families, and communities.
The partnership includes the Maryland State Department of Education, the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Microsoft, LinkedIn Learning, KPMG, Discourse Analytics, and eCare Vault.
The governor also signed an executive order to make Maryland a national leader in working to address “Adverse Childhood Experiences” or ACEs. Read the executive order here.
“As the governor, but also as a father and a grandfather, nothing breaks my heart more than to see what our children have suffered through over the past year, especially those kids who are growing up in underserved communities, and I refuse to just sit back and accept this as the status quo,” said Governor Hogan.
“The mission of this new initiative is to provide critical services to young people in need and to build post-COVID resilience among Maryland youth, families, and communities.”
Today’s announcement was made in the gymnasium of the Webster Kendrick Boys & Girls Club in Baltimore City. The governor was joined by Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Karen Salmon, Glenn Fueston, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, Lorraine Orr, COO for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Lockerman-Bundy Elementary School Principal Kimberly Hill-Miller.
Through Project Bounce Back, the Maryland Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs will expand to every county in Maryland, prioritizing Title 1 school districts and rural communities, to reach 45,000 children across all jurisdictions with youth development programs and positive mentorship.
As part of this expansion, the state is launching a new partnership between the Maryland State Police and the Maryland Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs to promote positive mentorships and grow community and police relationships.
“The Maryland Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs is thrilled to participate in Project Bounce Back. This initiative is a first-of-its-kind opportunity to support kids as the recovery from COVID-19 continues. Boys & Girls Clubs are excited and ready to expand our reach, create new partnerships, and ultimately serve more young people,”
shared Jeff Breslin, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore. “Our programs will combine social and emotional wellness with education supports in a caring, nurturing, and inclusive environment. Boys & Girls Clubs are rooted in the belief that every young person deserves the opportunity to thrive, and we stand ready to do whatever it takes as we embark on Project Bounce Back. We thank Governor Hogan, Dr. Salmon, Executive Director Fueston for their belief in young people.”
Funding for Project Bounce Back was made possible through CARES Act funding as a part of the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program.
For more on Project Bounce Back and the other initiatives it will make possible, see the Governor’s press release.