New Executive Director Announcement

January 9, 2014

Thank you again for your support of the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust. The past several years have yielded extraordinary improvements. As you know, the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust was founded over twenty-five years ago with a mission of providing access to area independent schools for academically talented African American students in Baltimore with limited financial resources.  We are proud of our rich history of connecting bright children with excellent academic institutions.

In 2009, Amy John made a five-year commitment to serve as Executive Director of B.E.S.T.  During this period, Amy and the Board of Trustees developed and implemented a five-year plan to broaden the scope of the organization by developing programming for our students and their families and facilitating partnerships and collaborations between public and private institutions in our city.  In addition, Amy has worked extensively to build organizational capacity to ensure the long-term success of B.E.S.T.  As part of the plan, Amy was able to recruit an experienced development officer, Jessica Suriano to serve as Director of Development & Strategic Initiatives.  As Amy concludes her five years in June 2014, B.E.S.T. is grateful for her leadership and positioning the organization for continued successful growth and service.

It is with great pleasure that the Board of Trustees of the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust announces the appointment of Jessica Suriano as the next Executive Director, effective June 1, 2014. Born and raised in Baltimore City, Jessica attended the Bryn Mawr School before earning a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Sociology from Loyola University Maryland.  Jessica began her career in professional service to nonprofits at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society overseeing the Team In Training marathon program and ended her time there serving as senior director of the organization’s three priority fundraising campaigns. Subsequently, Jessica was hired as the Director of Development for the Alzheimer’s Association Maryland Chapter where she was responsible for the creation and execution of the organization’s strategic development plan.  In 2010, Jessica joined B.E.S.T. as Director of Development & Strategic Initiatives.  In addition, she has led the program division of the organization.  Jessica has also served as a development and strategic planning consultant for several nonprofits in Baltimore.

Please join me and the Board of Trustees in welcoming Jessica Suriano as the next Executive Director at B.E.S.T.


Stuart O. Simms, Esq.
Board President
Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust