Photo Credit: Courtesy of @beyondbmore
How One Man Is Aiming To Impact Baltimore's Youth Through Travel
Often times, the inspiration to try something new can come from simply seeing someone who looks like you do it first. For Baltimore native Brian Oliver, he hopes to inspire young high school males in Baltimore to travel.
As a child, Brian took road trips with his grandfather often. These short trips ignited his passion for travel and seeing new things. Once he graduated from high school, he made it a priority to travel domestically with friends.
“We would just find cities to visit and then go,” Brian Oliver told Travel Noire. “This was before the deal websites were out so we would just try to hit the major U.S. cities when we could.”
That passion led him to take his first international trip to Bermuda about six years ago. As he began to travel more and more, people would ask him to blog about his experiences and his brand Beyond BMore was created. To date, he has seen roughly 55 countries.
But, he didn’t want to stop there.
“I knew I had a purpose to help out young people,” he said.
Brian and a group of friends took a group of kids to D.C. to see the monuments and to attend a Wizards game. Many of those kids admitted that they had never even traveled to D.C. before, which is only 45 minutes away.
“A lot of these kids don’t know anything beyond their neighborhoods. If they see the same things every day, it’s easy for them to just fall into the trap. Travel has been the best education for me. Once you experience it, you see new things.”
His most impactful trip was his first trip to Kenya. Hearing the locals say “welcome home stolen ones,” hit him in a way that he didn’t expect. He now aims to focus most of his travels on the continent of Africa.
Once he returns from a trip, it motivates him even more to make a difference in his own community. He simply wants kids to see that their world is so much bigger than the community they live in, they just need the exposure.
“Despite traveling to and seeing all of these places, I still felt a little unfulfilled,” Brian said. “I want kids from Baltimore to be able to do the same. Once you have a purpose, it sticks with you until you carry it out.”
To fulfill that purpose, Brian officially launched his nonprofit, BMore See More. Through this new organization, he will take high school males from the Baltimore area, on trips around the nation. He would like to start out with smaller trips since many of these young men have never even traveled beyond Baltimore. There are several destinations including Philly and New York that are within a short drive or train ride from them.
The goal is to bring the young men in as sophomores so that once they graduate, they will come back to the program as a mentor to the next set of young men.
Applications for the program will open up in January and the group plans to take their first trip sometime in the spring.
“I want to show these young men that travel is possible and we will help you do it.”
Brian will seek out grants and other sponsorship opportunities to help fund the trips. There has also been an outpouring of donations from people just wanting to help with the organization’s mission of impacting the youth of Baltimore though education, mentorship, and travel.
To learn more about BMore See More or to donate to the cause, you can visit their website: www.bmoreseemore.org or follow them on Instagram: @bmoreseemore. To catch more of Brian’s adventures and where he goes next, you can find him on Instagram: @beyondbmore.