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Finding a Way to Make a Difference for Inner City Youth in Baltimore

by USRowing Video by Ed Moran, ed@usrowing.org | Dec 05, 2015
When Judd Anderson began introducing rowing to inner city kids in Baltimore, he discovered a sport that could reach them in a way no other could.
When Judd Anderson began introducing rowing to inner city kids in Baltimore, he discovered a sport that could reach them in a way no other could.

“I was fascinated in what a real game-changer it could be in a kid’s life,” said Anderson, who founded Reach High Baltimore, a program designed to offer rowing to youth in Baltimore’s inner city.

Reach High began in 2011 with twelve girls in sixth grade, and has since been dedicated to making rowing available to urban youth who would not ordinarily have access to the sport because of either economic or cultural barriers.

In the four years since its inception, Reach High has grown to include more than 40 athletes, all of whom train and race alongside the non-scholarship athletes of the Baltimore Rowing Club’s junior program. For all the program has done and its dedication to rowing, Reach High was selected to receive the 2015 USRowing Anita DeFrantz Award.

“We’ve found that if we can simply ignite motivation inside a kid, we don’t have to throw lots of money at them like they do in the inner city, throwing programs at them and somehow trying to raise them up out of poverty. If you surround them with a really strong high achieving culture, all of a sudden, they are incredibly motivated to do well in life, and so that’s what we’re all about.”

Hear what Judd had to say about the program and the goal it sets for its athlete in a behind the scene interview at the Golden Oars Awards Dinner.

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