Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Neighborhood Institute Sponsor Spotlight: Roland Park Driving School

Patrick Francis is the founder of the Roland Park Driving School, which offers a  full complement of driver education services — from classroom and on road instruction to driver improvement classes. (Photo Credit: Baltimore Sun)

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Tell us a little bit about Roland Park Driving School and how you came to this part of Baltimore.

I created the school in 2006 and it has grown steadily over the years.  I can attribute this success to strict attention to detail and serving clients in a responsible manner. Driving is life and death…not a game. I bring this mentality to my school, and it helps keep young drivers safe.

I was not born in Baltimore but have been living here for a long time.

What do you love most about having a business in Greater Homewood?

I enjoy being around the young people in the area.  They are full of energy and it is enjoyable to hear from them about what is “hip and exciting” these days (they keep me in the loop!).

What is your favorite route to take your students on in Baltimore City?

I usually take them down Baltimore Ave. and across the inner harbor. We then go through Little Italy, Fells Point and past Raven’s stadium.  I like turning the route into a bit of a guided tour, which the students seem to enjoy.

What prompted you to become a sponsor of GHCC?

I like to help out the community in any way that I can. To me, helping the young people in an area is absolutely vital.

What is the most interesting experience you’ve had during a driving lesson?

I was in the car with a student driving up Mt. Royal Ave. and the driver behind bumps into us. He then proceeds to try and run off! My student and I pursued and eventually caught him at a red-light. The following conversation was very interesting but eventually they admitted to hitting the car. There was no damage to the vehicle but it was very amusing (must have been quite an experience for the young driver in the car)!

Substantive information about the program:

  • The school is open seven days a week, year round.
  • The number of students per course varies but it is typically between 10-30
  • Two additional instructors have been brought on as business increased. There are now a total of three instructors.
  • Karen Stokes’ children learned at this school!