John remembers WIC very well. When he was growing up in Minneapolis, his family counted on WIC along with food pantries and soup kitchens to get them through the months. His favorite cereal was King Vitamin, and luckily it was approved by WIC.
He spent his summers working as a golf caddy and worked with people who would become his role models: doctors, judges, and business owners. John learned his work ethic from them and made sure he was always the first to arrive and the last to leave. In school, he enjoyed playing sports like football, baseball, and wrestling.
While he was still a junior, John got a reminder that he couldn’t look away from the poverty and struggles of his community. A beloved local woman was robbed and beaten, nearly dying from her injuries. At the local neighborhood meeting, John grew angry when he saw all the members discussing snow removal and restaurant permits without saying a word about “Miss Dorothy.” As everybody was packing their bags and putting on their jackets, John stood up and said, “We need to talk about Miss Dorothy.” Soon another person stood up and agreed. And another and another. The meeting went on for another two hours as the community planned a march against violence and organized other activities.
That was how John got his start as a community organizer. He went from there to work as a case manager in disinvested communities with needs. Since then, he has started a successful consulting firm, been a speaker around the globe, served as a professor at NYU and Rutgers, and has written several books.
Today, John is the President of T. Rowe Price’s philanthropic Foundation and T. Rowe Price Charitable. Personally and professionally John is dedicated to helping communities grow stronger. John has never forgotten his roots. “It took help from others to get me where I am,” he says, “And I want to give people the same helping hand that I got when I was growing up.”
Are you a WIC Baby? We would love to tell your story! Email us at MDH.WIC@Maryland.gov or message us on Facebook or Instagram @MDH.WIC.