T-Rex's Support of Dream BIG Baltimore

T-Rex's Support of Dream BIG Baltimore

Date: August 5, 2020
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T-Rex’s commitment to our local community is not only part of our corporate strategy, but also expressed in the everyday contributions of our workforce. Sean Murphy, T-Rex’s Chief Growth and Strategy Officer, has been supporting Baltimore’s youth for the past three years through his founding of Dream BIG.

A Maryland native, Murphy feels a deep connection to the Baltimore-Washington region.

“I have witnessed the many social, educational, racial and economic inequality issues in Baltimore for 40 years. I have seen the hurt, pain and frustration in underserved communities and watched the years of frustration spill into an uprising in 2015. Like many others, I had enough and decided I needed to get off the sidelines and do something.”

In 2017, Murphy started a nonprofit dedicated to empowering underserved communities of Baltimore.

“It has always bothered me that everyone in this country does not have an equal opportunity to succeed in life. If I had been born in West Baltimore or the community of Cherry Hill, I would not have had the opportunity to succeed and I would certainly not be where I am today at T-Rex. So, while I did work hard to get to where I am, the reality is that I am privileged and would not be if I had been born in a different zip code,” says Murphy.

Within the first two years, Murphy and his family did extensive research to find proven local solutions to overcome inequalities. They visited leading foundations such as Harlem Children’s Zone and the Gates Foundation. Between the research and interviews with Baltimore residents, Dream BIG entered into a partnership in late 2019 with Weller Development, Purpose Built Communities, and the Community of Cherry Hill in South Baltimore.

Purpose Built Communities is a proven place-based model that takes a holistic approach to community revitalization that leverages four key pillars:

  1. Community Quarterback (Dream BIG): Leading revitalization by engaging community members, building partnerships, securing funding and ensuring implementation of the housing, education and wellness components of the model as part of the community’s vision.
  2. Mixed-Income Housing (Weller Development): Offering an environment with high-quality construction and practical amenities surrounded by safe walkways and streets, transforming the way residents view themselves and their neighborhood.
  3. Dream BIG Cradle-to-College Education (Dream BIG):Establishing an arena for student growth, learning and achievement at every level starting at birth and implementing a rigorous and relevant curriculum to ensure successful futures through college and beyond.
  4. Community Wellness: Provide a community-specific mix of facilities, programs and services that honor local history, reflect the priorities of residents, promote healthy lifestyles, create jobs and reduce crime.

Atlanta-based Purpose Built Communities is providing the oversight and lessons learned from 18 successful projects throughout the United States. Purpose Built has leveraged this proven model to achieve many successes around the country in the last 20 years. Our collective team is working hard to have the same success for the Cherry Hill neighborhood in Baltimore.

This short video from Purpose Built (2013) demonstrates what and how Purpose Built achieved their results in East Lake Meadows, an Atlanta suburb. This video shows how the integrated set of services work together and the potential of the outcomes that can be achieved in Cherry Hill.

After Tom Cousins and the community leaders successfully revitalized the community of East Lake Meadows, he, Warren Buffet and Julian Robertson spun off the East Lake Foundation to start Purpose Built Communities Foundation in 2009.  The Foundation created a “successful template” for holistic revitalization transforming neighborhoods and changing lives in struggling communities around the country.

Purpose Built Communities Foundation will be overseeing the Cherry Hill initiative. Dream BIG, Weller Development, and the State of Maryland are committing millions of dollars to kick start this initiative.

Backed by $3.5M in donations from T-Rex and Sean Murphy, Dream BIG has begun its work in the Cherry Hill Community, providing a continuum of educational support programs at two community elementary schools, Arundel Elementary and Cherry Hill Elementary.

T-Rex is excited and proud to support this important community initiative and give back to our local community at large.

To learn more about T-Rex Cares 2.0, click here.

To contribute to Dream BIG, click here.

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