A Beacon of Hope

‘A beacon of hope’: Former Baltimore councilwoman becomes mentor to teens who attacked her

The Washington Post
By Kelyn Soong 
January 9, 2018

Former Baltimore City Councilwoman Rochelle “Rikki” Spector was recovering in the hospital shortly after being viciously attacked by two teenagers in a carjacking attempt that left her bruised and with a black eye — “I looked like a raccoon,” Spector said — when council president Bernard C. “Jack” Young paid her a visit.

Young, like many of their colleagues on the council, was livid. What kind of children would attack a tiny, octogenarian woman in her own parking garage, he asked himself. Young expected Spector to be seething with a desire for justice.

The great-grandmother had other thoughts on her mind.

“She wasn’t worried about prosecuting them,” Young said. “She was more about, ‘What can we do for them?’ I was taken aback.”

Spector agreed and described being mortified by the dire situation she witnessed.

“I saw completely open drug dealing all over the place,” Spector said, adding that she also saw very young teen prostitutes hailing men in the street.

Spector started to meet with the boys at UEmpower events and recently became a board member of the non-profit. She helped the team secure kitchen and cafeteria space at the former neighborhood elementary school for UEmpower’s flagship food project.

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