This month, we profile Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) board member Victor Abiamiri, partner and portfolio manager at Brown Advisory and former NFL lineman. He has been serving on the BCP board since 2015.
Q: What does it mean to you to serve on the BCP board?
Victor: To me, it is a way to give back to the Baltimore community, particularly our Baltimore City youth. Education is an important aspect to the long-term outcomes of anyone’s trajectory, and this is one of the ways that I feel I can make a positive impact.
Q: How is this service different from your other civic/volunteer activities?
Victor: This is more “boots-on-the ground” compared to my other volunteer work. We have our board meetings in each of the neighborhoods where we have schools, where we get to meet with school leadership and staff, and see the students and engage with the parents.
Having parents sit on the BCP board is a good resource as well to have a pulse of what’s happening and where additional resources are required. It has been really cool to see the growth of the number of schools we serve, continue to nurture the schools that have had success, and help strategize for schools that are facing greater challenges.
Q: How did you learn about BCP and how did you get involved on the board?
Victor: One of my colleagues connected me with former board member, Stuart Simms, and I expressed interest in getting involved. I then met with Laura Dougherty [BCP President and CEO] and George Hess [BCP Board Co-Chair] and knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.
Q: Why did you choose to serve on the BCP board?
A: I had known George for a long time. When he asked me to be on the first board, I said “yes.” I’ve always been interested in helping Baltimore City public schools. I used to be in the legislature and worked hard on issues that affected the quality and funding of the City’s public schools.
One of the schools in my district used the Calvert School curriculum for several years. Although the curriculum was successful in many ways, it was difficult to implement in a City public school because of the frequent mobility of students. I knew that the Abell Foundation and [BCP founder] Muriel Berkeley were board members exploring similar research-oriented curricula that could be used successfully in our school system. Muriel identified Direct Instruction and adopted the DI instruction method for BCP.
Q: You serve the Baltimore region in a variety of capacities. How is your service on the BCP board different from your other volunteer activities?
A: With each opportunity, I say to myself, “Can my experience help with the mission of the organization?” During my time on the BCP Board I have worn many hats. I chaired the Executive Director search for Laura Doherty, and I’m currently on the marketing and fundraising committee. I’ve been helping chair the education committee. All Board members participate through their involvement on Board committees.
During all the years that I’ve been involved, BCP has been blessed with an excellent staff and a hard-working, effective board. The leadership in both areas is steady. It’s a very nice place to work and a nice bunch of people to work with. It’s a satisfying feeling that we’re doing some good for our families and students in the city.
Q: What do you think the impact has been of BCP’s unique approach to charter schools?
A: Some of the schools that BCP has [operated] have been among the most challenged in Baltimore City. After becoming a BCP school and having time to implement the curriculum and establish the climate and culture, our schools show success. So, we’re clearly contributing to communities and neighborhoods that have historically struggled by creating a well-run school. I feel that when you compare a BCP school to schools with a similar student body, BCP schools do better. The data shows that we are doing a good job, and that’s why we are here.
About Victor Abiamiri
- Partner, Portfolio Manager, Co-Head of a Private Client, Brown Advisory
- Gilman School ‘02, First-team USA Today All-American honors as a defensive lineman
- University of Notre Dame, BBA
- Certificate of Business Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Pennsylvania
- Drexel University, MBA
- Lineman for Notre Dame, two-year Notre Dame Lineman of the Year, Honorable Mention All-American, and All-Major Independent Defensive Player of the Year by The NFL Draft Report
- Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles, five seasons
- Board member, Gilman School and Baltimore Curriculum Project
Read more about Victor’s role with Brown Advisory