Crab Cake Row: James Piper Bond of Living Classrooms Foundation returns and recaps real progress in our city

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Crab Cake Row: James Piper Bond of Living Classrooms Foundation tells the history and mission to Nestor Aparicio and Wendy Bronfein of Curio Wellness on “A Cup Of Soup Or Bowl” week at Faidley’s Seafood in historic Lexington Market.

Crab Cake Row James Piper Bond Living Classrooms FoundationSat, Feb 10, 2024 9:01AM • 20:59SUMMARY KEYWORDSpeople, classrooms, baltimore, wendy, living, workforce training, maritime, years, learning, day, great, city, family, providing, james, training, today, talk, work, weekSPEAKERSWendy Bronfein, Nestor J. Aparicio Nestor J. Aparicio  00:02Welcome back. We are live at fade Lee’s World Famous Lexington market since 1782. I gotta sign out here I get to read it because I can see it out the window. We’re only gonna be here maybe 17 more days. We are not at the new Lexington market just yet where the original fails. It is Monday. We are live on the air here today. We’re gonna be doing it live all week at wn st am 1570 Tuesday cost is Wednesday. Coco’s Thursday at State Fair Friday, up at Pappas and cockys. Well, we’re gonna be having awesome guests like 120 Brian find from curio wellness and foreign daughter as well as James Parker bond from the Living classrooms foundation. How are you? Good. What 00:41did you cut your hair about five years ago? Nestor J. Aparicio  00:43That’s when I started let mine grow. People see me with long hair and they think I’ve had it my whole life if they didn’t know me, and they don’t know what I look like with short hair. I don’t know that I knew you. I’ve known you maybe 20 years. I don’t think I knew you were short hair. You were always sort of the cool hippie dude. That ran the cool charity thing here. Right? Still, 01:03whatever you say. Nestor J. Aparicio  01:06Was it a decision? What am I going to cut my I’m wondering what went into it? Nothing. Just went and did it. Nobody knew you were doing it. It was not premeditated in any way. Not love thought. The people give you a hard time that when the first couple of what happened your hair do you get any 01:21people like you Nestor Nestor J. Aparicio  01:24I loved your hair on I’m just kidding. It was a sign of your street cred is what I would say. He’s quiet today. James Bond is here for living classrooms foundation Wednesdays are now Wendy, I said to you, we’re doing this charity thing. Everybody has a charity. You met the one of my number one charity. And Michelle President Walsh. We did a lot for there goes my hero when my wife’s life got say she was my wife’s coach. You clearly your family has always done things in the community. Why this guy other than the fact that he does great stuff. Danna Fells Point. Well, Wendy Bronfein  01:57so we met What, like a year or so ago? Yeah. I came, James and two other members of the board came to talk to us they were doing a large campaign and wanted to have us join support in that. And we we do, like we said, we do like a lot of giving a lot of things that either touch the healthcare needs of our patient population, right, we started as a medical program, as well as things that improve life here in the Baltimore area, we’re very much focused on like education and workforce development. And that is at the core of what living classroom does, long established, been doing great things for the city of Baltimore for decades now. And it felt like a really good fit. And it felt like a place where we can make a very large gift that would have a sustaining impact. And as well a resource where if we ever want to do things where our team can be involved, and they can contribute, and they can volunteer, it just had multi levels of of giving to it. So we really liked that how many Nestor J. Aparicio  02:56years now you’ve been doing this, James? 02:57This is our 38th year. And so how many years for you, personally 31st, full time employee. So our motto is learning by doing this term, I’m still learning we’re all still trying to get better every day what we do, and we’re so grateful for Wendy and Kareo and her family’s involvement with living classrooms. It’s been significant and it makes a big difference in court grateful. Nestor J. Aparicio  03:19Brian Billick joined me as part of a 16 years ago. And Brian forged a relationship with James many, many when he became the coach. He was like literally off 03:28the boat 99 Brian still on our board. He’s still very supportive. Nestor J. Aparicio  03:32Literally the reason I heard of living classrooms was because a Brian Right So Brian started talking about it being involved to have a kitchen and living he plugged it in his press conferences, living classrooms. And I’m like, what is that and I got the blessing 16 years ago, getting the full tour of everything. And you were transitioning that you were still you had your old building at one point, like sort of moving around that turn of the century kind of time. What is living classrooms in 2024 versus your vision because it was on a shipbuilding. It was a lot of growing things, growing plants, right. I mean, you you were teaching life skills to young people that may not living in the city have those kinds of experiences? Sure. 04:14So I mean, we the core of anything that living classrooms does is as was our partner just exist, you know, clearly explained it all comes back to hands on experiential education is when he said, so we’re all about how do we bring learning alive, make it fun making experiential they get hands on and so we still do that whether I mean we manage seven historic ships in the Baltimore Harbor whether the US has constellation or the submarine, the Coast Guard knights they’re still have the three ships out with kids every day. That’s a big responsibility. We started the first charter school in Maryland, 21 years ago, Crossroads school that’s going strong. We’re expanding that from a middle school to a K through eight we’re raising $25 million towards that effort is what Wendy mentioned. I can’t why the middle Nestor J. Aparicio  04:58school that’s a really Really, it’s a key time to get the kids right. Oh, it’s 05:02why it’s called Crossroads right that middle school says some of the toughest age it’s a title one school. So instead of working with 163 children, our goal is going to be to work with 450 children and their families. As far as our workforce training that just continues to expand and grow from working with adjudicated teams, which we’ve done in the Fresh Start program for 34 years to working with returning citizens now for 25 years living classrooms works with more returning citizens than any other community based organization in Maryland and will work between 175 and 200 this year, all with helping them give them job skills and then placing them into employment. And so that’s something we’ve been doing for a long time. And so when you mentioned that, you know, we still have our East harbor campus right there and Fells Point that’s where our school is and Fresh Start program in the new Marina there the the bugs program that’s with the greenhouse where they grow plants, it’s all urban gardens way of learning math and science and history and reading and writing and they have their own farmers market, you know, learn about the business of having a you know, their own Farmers Market tomatoes and cucumbers. Yeah, right. Yeah. Well, come on by brother. We got him there. And then there’s the the workforce training. We opened up the Bauer Workforce Center last during the pandemic. And so we have customized training that we had. Senator Cory McCray, come through earlier this morning. Speaking you know, we’re doing a landscaping training there. Today we have production warehouse and distribution training. We have construction training class, the mechanics, the pattern practice, family, h&s hires us to train people to work on their machinery. We have hospitality, training to help you know how people work in restaurants or hotels, early childhood trainings. Thanks to Jack Dwyer. We’re training 100 people over the next year to learn to be CNA, GNA nurses. So all these really important job opportunities entry level. And then through our five community centers, we have great access for people to learn about these opportunities. And then you might have seen on Nightline last week our operation respond was highlighted with bringing trauma informed care with our operation respond RV, right to some of the toughest neighborhoods in East Baltimore and Belair Edison and the Celtic park where we bring in trauma informed care, right to help people that is when he said our commitment to helping people improve their health and, and and community safety. So you know that we’re still the same old living classrooms with every every year working with 30,000 children, youth and adults. We’ve just gone deeper and are providing more services and more opportunities all to help Baltimore be a safer, stronger and healthier city. What Nestor J. Aparicio  07:36was the original goal? I mean, 38 years later, become bigger than probably you dreamed it? Right? Well, 07:43we have an amazing team. We have an incredible board. And so the it’s as I mentioned before, it’s around providing experiential hands on learning opportunities to help children youth. And it’s it’s not just youth, it’s families as well, but to achieve their potential academically in the workplace in their lives. And so we began with building the lady Maryland, which was our first living class in 104 foot schooner. And she’s 38 years old now and will be sailing this year. And Nestor J. Aparicio  08:13I have sailed on her. Yeah, you’ve had me adults have both. So it began 08:16that way because Baltimore’s a maritime city, but it quickly morphed in the the late 80s, into providing workforce training, especially for young men that are, you know, caught a charge in the juvenile justice system, and we help provide skills and GED training and help them get to get jobs and to be successful in their lives. And we’ve just grown from there one step at a time. Yeah, we got Under Armour house is amazing up on Fayette Street. The ravens are half Nestor J. Aparicio  08:43day you open that? Yeah, Dolby music. He was training kids on music. Yeah. Little iPads. I mean, he hit me a couple of weeks ago. He’s going on tour this summer. I mean, you’ve you recruit you collect people, you collected me, let me you know, I’m still here. 08:58Yeah. So Thomas doll was chair of our music board. And it was we got a great group of people, but they’re, they’re focused on how we use music again, as a way as a as a hook for kids and help provide motivation and interest. And it’s, you know, people love music and Thomas’s Nestor J. Aparicio  09:13program. There’s never a time I’m with him where he’s not talking about. 09:17Well, he’s fabulous. And he’s been a great advocate. And he’s helped a lot. He’s tremendous and good people here in this city. We have an amazing board. Yeah, I mean, it’s an all sorts of committees. And we have, you know, 1000s of volunteers. as Wendy mentioned, we work with dozens of companies who are involved because they can get their employees involved in doing something that’s meaningful and making a difference and we have a rich canvas of opportunities, whether it’s environmental centers, whether it’s a school, whether it’s historic ships, whether it’s our be more athletically working with 1200 kids, you know, we just had a great lunch with the Orioles there’s all sorts of things we’re going to be doing Orioles. Nestor J. Aparicio  09:54Give me an Oh, no. Oh, oh, hey, good. I like that. We’re in a neighborhood here at Brock volunteer James park bond from living classroom. So you’ve only known each other a year. Now 10:07we know each other for you she possibly met her husband at our math time magic, right? Yeah, I hope that’s all right. Oh, Nestor J. Aparicio  10:13you’ve just given me fodder here now. So I have attended many maritime magics to chow how you met your husband? Because I’ve only met your husband one time, and I didn’t know he was your husband. So he kissed you. And he left because you’re doing the show? And you’re like, No, no, that’s my husband. You haven’t even really met your husband like Wendy Bronfein  10:30yet. So well, we had technically met, like face to face at a birthday party a couple of weeks prior, but then we were both at maritime magic and then saw each other from a distance. He later told me though, that he when he like, noticed me and came to say hello, or talk to me actually thought I was a different person than he thought he was going to say hi to. But then I we met at a mutual friend’s birthday party. After that party, they were like, we want to set you up with him. I was like, Okay, fine, do it. Then they didn’t do anything. So when after I ran into him at the maritime thing, I said, Well, you give me his number because you guys aren’t doing anything. And so then, then that’s when he figured out it was me because this other person asked to, to talk to him. And he thought he was talking to a different woman. Nestor J. Aparicio  11:19I flooded out. If I have friends here for lunch that I can eat and you guys can eat too. But I’ve been here since like, 730 this morning, and you’re getting hungry. Now. Here’s the problem, Jason. This is designed in 1782. The bathroom here is up over around and I’m doing live radio. Today is the first day. I have done live radio in 10 years. You’re doing pretty good. So well. We get knocked off the air at 915. But Jr got us back. So we’re fun. So I have to pee in any and shrink in an eight hour block. While I’m doing this and I got these guys here. Wait, come on. During crabcakes people were bringing us stuff for the Maryland Food Bank. I got to talk in about fish and steak fish. So we’ll just went back and lop me off a piece of steak fish in St. Louis is the best man. Look, you got your you wanted it for you is what you did. And then we got crab cakes here. And you guys get all enamored with the crab cake. I love the little tomatoes here in the vinaigrette. Because you only get that a favor. So we got some lunch here. Because why do you support living classrooms? You and I talked about a lot of different things. And you know, you and your family you have means your business, you want to support things what? What appealed to you of the fact you met your husband maritime magic, which is a really good part. Wendy Bronfein  12:39I think it’s I think there’s this core focus on education and workforce development and the improvement of the Baltimore community. I mean, like there’s nothing more that we could probably care about. And I mean, to put color on what James was saying, right? Like, those those areas where people learn, right, the warehouse, it looks like you’re inside of like a mini distribution center. Like you might think of like an Amazon distribution isn’t like that. Or even like what our like where we pick and pack our orders. For our business. It looks just like that, like so. It’s very, you’re not like sitting in a classroom learning something you are, you are in like, almost looks like the set of a play of where you would work. And then you’re actually learning it, or even the trauma informed care. It’s like this RV that’s been remodeled that has private areas to sit and be consulted areas to be checked in and talk to people like it’s very sensitive to like the people who are engaging with these resources and being able to change lives in many different ways. And because they’re been around for almost 40 years, it’s a proven track record you want to you know, you want to engage with the philanthropy, it’s great to engage with new ones as well. But this is a very trusted resource. What they got to say Nestor J. Aparicio  13:48about us knowing so many people James in the city and people that give speak about the part of this were not just Wendy and her family, but all I go to maritime magic and I see people that have some affluence and mean some abundance in their life. And they want to make a difference. And they don’t just want to write a check far off they want to be involved. We get we get beaten up so much and as part of my Baltimore positive thing is like I’m tired here in Baltimore B shad upon right with people I know who are here every day doing good is trying to lift it, you being near the top of that class, but you get to touch all of these people but little celebrities, Brian people writing you checks or whatnot. But you get to see the essence of what’s really good about Baltimore, and what’s bad what we’re trying to fix. Do you see that on the street, but you do see that there is a support system here that has kept you around for 38 years and grown your organization because people want the same thing. We want to make the city better. 14:46Yeah, no, no, you hit on a great point. And one of the things I’m proud of our team and living classrooms is that we listen to the communities it’s not about living classrooms coming in somewhere and you know, we’re gonna come save the day. It’s it’s listening, where we’re asked to come and support, and then hearing what the needs are, and then providing the resources to really move the needle and make a meaningful difference. So I think it’s coming at it from that approach is really important. And then we are fortunate, you know, and I did grow up in Baltimore and we we’ve been able to, to spread the the mission and to people who have means and who want to make a difference and help the city. And as Wendy said, we can be a conduit towards that. And so we work closely when I’ve worked with nine mayors and seven governors. And so, you know, we we work closely with with our state and city and county governments, we work closely with community leaders, the leaders of all of our programs that are in the community are from the community. So it’s very community driven. But also we run like a business, and we’re focused on making sure we are making a meaningful difference, and we measure everything we do. So I hope I’ve answered your question. And when we talked to business, women and business men, they liked that and will invest with us, and then we show return on investment to help the city because the city is heading in a good place. I feel really, really positive movement. Yeah. Oh, yeah. And, yes, we got our issues day in day out when he right, of course, not sure. But I’m feeling very positive about Baltimore. I think we’ve got, you know, there’s a lot of great things happening and we just got to keep working together and producing the quality results. So Wendy Bronfein  16:23we came down this weekend. It was Saturday. What are we gonna do like, let’s go to the aquarium. I mean, it was cold, but it was like today, it was gorgeous. And the city was very alive. I mean, it was beautiful sunshine day, people were walking around we parked we actually parked in the lot right next to living classroom. We meandered over to harbor point to that new admins got some lunch, got back in the car when I was at Harbor Point, there’s a there’s a Yeah, I didn’t know. And then and then and then walked over to the aquarium had a great day. And it was like, and I loved it because that was like my childhood Right? Like what did you do when you needed in a family activity? You came down to the meadow, I lived in the county came down to the city and you did something and walked around the harbor whatever. It was great. Nestor J. Aparicio  17:09You know, old people were gonna think I stole crabcake row from corned beef row. Corned beef Gorbea row was like a thing. I love me some corned beef, but I’m looking at some fresh fish here. I got some hate fish and steak fish that’s been literally this has been fried up nice on a sandwich and I got some some some crab cakes here. What are you most proud of living classrooms all these years? What When? When I say what’s what’s what was your soup? What was your shining moment? What’s the best thing? 17:35No, it’s what happens every day with with helping, you know, I had lunch today at the restaurant at our Frederick Douglass campus and to see Lamont cousin who’s a graduate of project sir who’s now worked his way from a dishwasher up to becoming the general manager and part owner and he’s mentoring other young men and women. I mean, and to hear Him speaking tell him like 1415 years. So he progresses sure short and so it’s on a daily basis that those are the wins. That’s what we’re all about is you know, from I think that the whole organization wide is what are we doing? It’s not what we did yesterday, it’s what are we doing today? What are we doing tomorrow to help improve the city and to help people in their in their quest with their education and workforce training? And to help with community safety? Nestor J. Aparicio  18:23What’s next maritime magic? 18:25October 4, don’t miss it. So the pan, we’re working on it, but it’s a good band. Yeah, I’ve got a couple of windows, it will let you know soon. But there’ll be our 36 maritime magic. We’ll have probably 70 restaurants, you know, everything’s donated incredible party a Nestor J. Aparicio  18:41couple of times last week ready for this? Oh, this is part of a copper Super Bowl. The first time I ever had 5050 Half and Half crab soup was at your event. Okay, so what came and I’m like, do you have crab soup or crema crab soup? They’re like, well, we’re combining it and I’m like, Ooh, I ever heard that. Oh, my peanut butter. And they combined it there and now it’s like a thing that I’m having fun with all week about like, do you like Maryland crab prima crab? Or are you half and half? were older I don’t speak for you when because you’re younger but we know life when 5050 was never off? Like I don’t know where it started. But it started for me at maritime Max like your wedding your marriage started at a time match the maritime measure the first time I’d ever had it now I can’t stop having it you know so cool. October 4 Yes sir. No Keep it funky play band band now don’t worry Chase Parker bond five to bond with Piper bond sorry so Parker Piper sorry. I keep saying I one guy said James Bond he’s never forget your name. You get that every day your life. Yeah, I said Parker, not Piper. I feel bad about that. It’s like Ross because 19:52my son is. We call them Piper bonds. So that’s why I had to correct you there. So Nestor J. Aparicio  19:58he’s still 12 Right? 19:59only for Nestor J. Aparicio  20:02Wendy, thanks for coming by. Appreciate you crabcake for you all right for the road. We’re fadeless we’re doing a cup of Super Bowl. It is a crabcake road tour. We got people stopping by old friends stop by new friends stopping by. We’re doing live radio driving me crazy. I can’t pee, but I’m not drinking but I’m going to eat this. And we’re going to come back and continue to do thanks. Thanks for coming down. Hey man, thanks Josie James Piper bond, and Wendy Brown. Find her find her curio find him at living classrooms foundation. Want to give a shout out to our friends at the Maryland lottery. You get it too. I feel like Oprah when I do this, you get a lottery ticket. You get a lottery ticket one for everybody. Is it 10 times cash is what we’re doing here this week. We’re giving them away all week long. We’ll be at Costas all day on Tuesday. Coco’s on Wednesday. Pappus on Friday, stay fair on Thursday. This didn’t add an order because I’m on live radio. I’m trying to take a break back for more from families right after this. 20:55Thanks.

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