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MCPS Leadership Program Honors Covin

Covin and Kim JonesThe 2014 graduates of Montgomery County’s Honors Executive Leadership Program (HELP) honored Howard Covin at their graduation ceremony, thanking him for his dedication to the program over the years.

Covin, who retired in January from Johns Hopkins University’s Montgomery County Campus as financial director of campus operations, was instrumental in continuing HELP when funding was cut from the Montgomery County Public Schools’ budget before the 2011-2012 school year. HELP is the only honors career development program in the county. It provides a select group of high school seniors with internships based on their career interests.

Under the leadership of Covin, Johns Hopkins sponsored HELP for the next three years.

“Howard Covin served as a catalyst for the program, helping to move the program forward despite the lack of funding,” said Kim Jones, director of HELP.

Johns Hopkins supported the program by providing space for weekly seminars, connecting with local businesses to provide internships and donating money to send this year’s class on a college visit to the University of Pennsylvania.

“This program is a win-win-win,” Covin said “It’s a win for the students, the businesses, and the community.”

This year’s class worked at organizations in the metropolitan area that included the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Discovery Communications and the National Institutes of Health. Many students’ part-time positions turned into full-time employment for summer months.

“Having Johns Hopkins Montgomery County as a sponsor for the past three years has elevated the program and provided participants with more opportunities,” Jones said.

The 2014 class of HELP showed appreciation for Covin’s dedication to the program by presenting him with a blanket covered in pictures from their adventures this year.

“Without Howard Covin, we would not have met the amazing mentors, leaders, present and past classmates that we have over the course of this year,” said graduate Stefanie Hackshaw during her presentation to Covin.

Although the program will not serve students during the 2014-2015 school year, Covin believes in its mission and says he hopes the funding will continue.

“This program gives students the key, and it’s up to them to choose to unlock the door,” Covin said. “And they always do.”

CATEGORY: K-12 Outreach