This month’s mentor spotlight is on Borndavid McCraw from the Y of Central MD. A Baltimorean, Born balances the roles of a public school teacher, father, poet, and community activist. Born is also a talented musician who performs under the name Em Sea Water. Since his debut album was released in 2005, Born has created music to inspire audiences of all ages, including young children. His anti-bullying poem “Charlie” and his “My Pencil” rap have appeared in almost every classroom in Maryland. As a graduate of Coppin State University and a member of Poetry for the People of Baltimore, he remains grounded in his hometown where he is currently the coordinator of Poetry Out Loud at the Maryland State Arts Council. In addition to all this, Born is currently a mentor/coordinator for the Badges for Baseball program at the Weinberg Family Y in Baltimore, which is also the location of the foundation’s Memorial Field youth development park. Born is truly an incredible person, with an incredible attitude, making an incredible impact on Baltimore’s youth.
What made you get involved in youth development?
I grew up with great parents, teachers, and role models that were positive influences on my life. I wanted a way to provide that experience for other youth in my community. I also grew up in the same neighborhoods as the children I work with, and it’s good when youth can hang out with adults who relate to them.
Briefly discuss your Badges for Baseball program:
Our program includes members of the Armed Forces, local Fire Departments, and 50 kids from 5 different Baltimore City Schools. This year we played Quickball, baseball, hockey, and soccer every Wednesday at the Weinberg Family Y in Baltimore. It was fun to learn and play the games, and the children enjoyed asking the fire fighters and army officers questions about their jobs.
Briefly discuss your favorite moment or story related to the Badges for Baseball program:
My favorite memory was receiving a large donation of athletic clothing from Under Armor. Each child in the program earned a nice surprise just in time for the holidays!
What is your greatest attribute that makes you successful at what you do?
My compassion for people is what helps me connect to our youth. To be a good mentor, you have to make the person believe that you genuinely care about them. If they know you care about them, then you can teach them something.
Recall an interesting story of fact about yourself that most people wouldn't know:
I am a performing artist who teaches hip hop and poetry workshops for middle school students. I recently did a motivational music video for kids taking the MSA Test.
Thank you Borndavid for all the work you do for the Badges for Baseball program at the Y Central MD.