Todd Stokes ’75 Reflects on Remarkable 30-Year Career, Days at Calvert

Todd Stokes ’75 first came to Calvert in 1972, after his mother realized he was not being challenged in public school. He started halfway through Ninth Age, shortly after the winter holidays, and remembers walking into the building on his first day.
As the first African-American student to graduate from Calvert School, Todd said that he turned a few heads, but everyone was warm and welcoming. His sister, Kimberly ’79, later attended Calvert as well.
 
“I think it was an experience for everyone, because I don’t think my classmates had encountered too many African-American students, and I hadn’t encountered too many white students,” Todd said. “But everyone was very friendly and accepting.”
 
After graduating from Calvert, Todd went on to attend Gilman School and later earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Morehouse College in 1985. During his time at Morehouse, he began an internship with a child advocacy organization that transitioned into a job post-graduation. A year or so later, he returned to Baltimore, where he worked at Glenwood Life Counseling Center, an outpatient clinic and counseling program that assists individuals struggling with substance misuse.
 
For five years, he coordinated patient intake and conducted group and individual counseling sessions before working with the Baltimore County Detention Center and another facility related to substance misuse treatment.
 
In June 1991, he became a U.S. probation officer for the District of Maryland, a position he would hold for 25 years. Throughout his life, Todd says, he has felt driven to help those in need.
 
“At an early age, I was always into helping people, and I think I saw how my mother always helped people," he said. "My mother would have given you the shirt off her back if she had to. I was brought up that way.”
 
During his time with the District of Maryland, Todd often worked closely with the people on his caseload, empowering them to effect positive change in their own lives and referring them to organizations like the Center for Urban Families, which provides job-readiness programs, family resources, and other services for individuals in Baltimore.
 
He used to introduce himself as half-probation officer and half-social worker, because he hoped to help each of his clients improve his/her circumstance. The people he supervised often recognized his sincerity.
 
“I’ve just always liked helping people,” he said. “It’s rewarding to see people succeed and do well.”
 
For years, Todd said, he regularly received thank-you notes from the men and women on his caseload. Some of them said that he helped save their lives. Now retired for several years, Todd still gets phone calls from people he used to supervise, some of whom continue to look to him for help and guidance.
 
At home, he stays busy caring for his son – a kindergartener who goes to school near Catonsville – and connecting with his daughter, a senior studying animal science at Tuskegee University. His wife, Chantel, is from Cape Town, South Africa, and they have been married for 10 years.
 
Todd’s legacy of mentorship and helping others now continues at his son’s school, where he is a proud room parent. To this day, he remembers many of his Calvert teachers by name, and he looks back fondly on the connections he formed with these early mentors.
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Calvert School is a coed independent lower and middle school.

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