Dr. James Albrecht: Laser focused on sharing knowledge and expertise
June 05, 2017
How did a retired food technologist end up in a classroom filled with Baltimore City middle-school students in the middle of summer?
Dr. James Albrecht is a distinguished scientist who worked at some of the world’s most famous food companies – including Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Baltimore-based McCormick. He has retired from the industry, but his passion for science and the food industry—and sharing it with young people—remains to this day.
Dr. Albrecht has long helped steer young people into successful careers. He cites his own mentors and teachers as inspiration. “Somewhere along the way, everyone has a mentor, or attends a class, or has a teacher who made a big difference in their lives,” says Albrecht.
When he came to Baltimore to work at McCormick, Dr. Albrecht found the place he’d call home after retirement. “This is just a great place to live. People are very friendly and hospitable,” he says. “I have a lot of good friends, and I really enjoy being here.”
Dr. Albrecht has been able to share his 40 years of industry experience with more students through his financial support for Middle Grades Partnership, an initiative of the Baltimore Community Foundation which increases opportunities for academically promising Baltimore City public school students through public and private school partnerships.
Middle Grades Partnership summer programs bring public and private school students together to curb summer learning loss and expose students to new concepts in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math and art. “This is a great organization,” says Dr. Albrecht, “that is offering kids top notch learning opportunities that they might not normally get to experience.”
Like many donors who care about Baltimore, he wants his contributions to make a difference in the lives of students. Through working with Middle Grades Partnership, he has been able to combine his passion for helping students and his love of Baltimore. He is not just supporting Middle Grades Partnership with dollars. During the 2016 Middle Grades Partnership summer session, he worked with the partnership at Hampstead Hill/Friends School by leading a class on global water conservation.
“I’m interested in knowing I’m making a difference in the lives of young people,” Dr. Albrecht says. “My giving is laser-focused, not amorphous. The Baltimore Community Foundation helped me identify Middle Grades Partnership as an organization that’s working in just this manner, and I’m happy to support it.”