Law school is meant to be a challenge. Add in two demanding professional positions and you have part-time 1L Yasmene Mumby, who attends law school in the evening while pursuing her passion for education during the day, as co-chair of the Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC) and director of community engagement for KIPP Baltimore. Both organizations are dedicated to ensuring that all children in the city receive an excellent education.
In addition to attending law school, Mumby is planning and executing community events, the most recent of which concern state block grant bills that would provide money to upgrade Baltimore City Public Schools’ infrastructure. The bills, SB743 and HB860, would lock in capital funds the city receives from the state as part of a $2.4 billion, 10-year reconstruction plan.
Mumby was a driving force behind a rally on February 25 that gathered more than 3000 supporters of the bill outside the Maryland State House in Annapolis. The bills are supported by alumna Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, ’95, who spoke at the rally.
“Going to law school part time is challenging,” said Mumby. “I am mentally managing the workload because I view my school work as an extension of my professional responsibilities. I am fortunate to have a wonderful and supportive team at UM Carey Law and at work. The students in the evening program are encouraging, thoughtful, and collegial.”
Mumby’s goal is to use her knowledge of the law to be a more effective advocate for Baltimore’s children.
After graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in International Relations and a master’s in teaching, Mumby started working at Teach For America. She requested to stay in Baltimore, her home town, and taught 7th and 8th grade Social Studies at KIPP: Ujima Village Academy in West Baltimore, where low-income students acquire the skills they need to succeed in four-year colleges.
Three years later, the school was facing the prospect that it might have to close its doors. After organizing a grassroots campaign to keep KIPP in Baltimore, Mumby was promoted to her current position and won a unanimous vote to serve as co-chair of BEC.
Mumby’s workload is hefty and her goals lofty, but that is how she was raised.
“My father raised me to work extremely hard at whatever I do,” Mumby explained. “My father would always say ‘They may be smarter than me, but they won’t out work me.’ I take the same approach to life.”
UPDATE March 25, 2013: Since the Baltimore Education Coalition's 3,000 person rally last month, the community effort for a $1 billion financing plan to begin to renovate and rebuild school buildings in Baltimore City took a huge leap forward Friday as the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 860 - The Baltimore City Public School Construction and Renovation Act - by an overwhelming majority of 107 to 30. The bill now moves to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee hearing Tuesday before heading to the Senate floor for debate and a final vote.