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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Haresign

The Lieutenant Richard Collins III Foundation

n May of 2017,

was murdered at a bus stop at the University of Maryland, College Park Campus while waiting for an Uber with friends. He was stabbed by a 22 year old who was actively involved with far-right politics and the alt-right movement online. The FBI declined to investigate the hate crime at the federal level, but he continued to face hate crime charges in Prince George's county court. He was sentenced to life in prison. The Maryland laws around Hate Crimes were further developed and improved because of this experience.

Collins, a Black ROTC student and third generation military service member is remembered by his parents. His father (retired from the US Navy) also lost his father to a racially based hate crime. Together his parents have developed the 2nd LT Richard Collins III Foundation with a mission to work towards a Hate-free, more just society for all. ( They provide scholarship opportunities for ROTC students attending Maryland's HBCUs to study subjects such as intercity social justice and to participate in service and leadership opportunities.

I was blown away by my experience getting to work with a young, but strong group of ROTC cadettes from Bowie State University and University of Maryland as an instructor at Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School. Our instructor team developed and delivered a 5 day backpacking expedition on the Appalachian trail while facilitating activities focused on learning outcomes such as Group Relationships, Self Regulation, and Social Responsibility. We did this through reflective activities that helped students develop their leadership, communication, and team building skills. I am thankful for the crew and all their support and grateful to be a part of Outward Bound USA.

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