Civics in Action

John Ciekot, ’67, harnesses energy—green and volunteer—to enhance Baltimore

By Kim Hall  |  Photographs by John Davis - Wonderful Machine
John Ciekot

In the early days of Baltimore’s bustling merchant trade, the city’s business culture was shaped by philanthropists. Among those Baltimoreans who sought to enhance the city and provide a better life for residents was millionaire entrepreneur Johns Hopkins, who incorporated a hospital and university bearing his name.

Today, working in Hopkins’ former home in northeast Baltimore’s Clifton Park, John Ciekot, ’67, pursues those same ideals through his work as projects director for Civic Works, Baltimore’s service corps.

“Civic Works enables citizens to work for the enrichment and betterment of their own community,” said Ciekot, who graduated from Loyola with a bachelor’s degree in English. His brother, Jerald, graduated from Loyola in 1965. “We’re asking ourselves, ‘How do we use today to create that wonderful tomorrow that we want?’”

Civic Works programs focus on education, workforce development, community revitalization and energy conservation. Each year, 200 to 250 volunteers assist with in-school and after-school enrichment programs, landscaping abandoned city lots and rehabilitating homes. Last year Civic Works opened a transformation school called REACH, which currently serves sixth and ninth graders. Three years from now, the transfor- mation school, which combines middle and high school grades, emphasizes career exploration, and pushes students to attend college, will expand to include 520 students in grades 6-12.

Johns Hopkins’ former home, where the Civic Works offices are located, is one of the program’s many beneficiaries. These photos show work in progress—and the need for future restoration.

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1 Comment

  • Posted by John Ciekot | August 19, 2009

    I am grateful to everyone behind Loyola Magazine for the chance to connect with so many good people. I hope friends will visit Clifton Mansion and work with Civic Works. An exciting new feature is Real Food Farm, about to grow tons of quality food right here in town.

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