Jamal Johnson, or as he is known among his cohort members and site staff, Mally was placed with Break A Difference by another Maryland AmeriCorps program called Public Allies. Mally loves helping others in any way possible but what really makes him proud are the volunteers he comes across. They give the time out of their day to help him help others, which he believes that is the ultimate form of giving. After completing a full year of service, he decided that it wasn’t enough; he still wanted to do more.
Volunteer Maryland allowed Mally to continue his period of service with Break A Difference, a nonprofit based in Baltimore that coordinates volunteer events and organizes alternative breaks for college students. He considered other AmeriCorps programs but decided to commit to Volunteer Maryland because he is motivated to grow and learn even further in his position at B.A.D. Mally has found so much growth in the last year and wants to continue this trend in order to take on bigger roles to support his community.
Mally believes the back-to-back years of service is worth it if he is able to build upon the work he started with B.A.D. and bring change to the city that he loves greatly, Baltimore. He plans to catalyze this change by coordinating volunteer events which connect veterans, college students, and volunteers from all walks of life, with the nonprofits in Baltimore to tackle issues such as environmental stability, housing, and veteran engagement. While on this journey, Mally seeks to bolster his volunteer management skills, improve his time management, and gain additional repair and renovation skills to establish a strong sense of self and set of skills, in order to prepare himself for trade school in plumbing after his term with Volunteer Maryland.