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Project L/EARN News and Events » Project L/EARN Alum and Baltimore Native David Fakunle Vows to Help Urban Youth

Project L/EARN alumnus Mike Alvarez awarded Soros Fellowship
July 2014. David Fakunle grew up in the massive shadow of Johns Hopkins’ sprawling East Baltimore campus. He knew that he wanted to focus on the criminological aspect of society, specifically why people “graduate” to criminal behavior. A colleague suggested that he talk to Deborah Furr-Holden, PhD, associate professor in Mental Health Johns Hopkins University. After one meeting, he knew that public health was his calling, and vowed to apply what he learned to help prevent the transition to criminal behavior among youths in his hometown.

Fakunle, a 2008 graduate of Project L/EARN, enrolled at the Bloomberg School at Johns Hopkins University last year in the doctoral program in the Department of Mental Health with funding from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). As a Project L/EARN intern, he conducted a research project on demographic variation in the density of tobacco outlets in New Jersey that was later published in a peer-reviewed journal, co-authored with his Rutgers mentor Dr. Andrew Peterson of the Rutgers School of Social Work. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland and then worked at the Social Security Administration before starting graduate school. Read more about his promise to Baltimore.

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