BALTIMORE (WJZ/CBS News)–As outrage continues to grow around the world, the United States is preparing to send a team of specialists to Nigeria to help search for more than 270 abducted schoolgirls.  But it may be too late for some of them. The tragedy is striking a chord here in Maryland.

Mike Hellgren has more on the spirited rally held in Baltimore to bring attention to the abductions.

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Boko Haram, a ruthless Islamic extremist group whose name means “Western education is sinful,” has claimed responsibility for kidnapping 276 teenage girls from their boarding school in Chibok last month. The group has even threatened to sell them into slavery.

It’s a story that has captured attention from coast to coast, including here in Baltimore.

Unified and outraged, almost 200 people on the Morgan State University campus voiced their passionate support for the girls in Nigeria through speeches, prayer and poetry.

“I’m still yelling. I’m screaming. I want to be free, but you can’t hear me. They say it’s not that serious, but it’s just as important as them taking your sister out of your bed as you lay next to her at night,” said a student, reciting a poem she wrote.

What does the rally say about the Morgan community?

“It says that everyone cares. Everyone put aside the rain. They put aside their selfish tendencies to show that Morgan State cares and Morgan State supports bringing the girls back,” said Kia Smith, Morgan SGA vice president.

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They released balloons, each symbolizing their hope for the release of those held hostage more than 5,000 miles away.

“This could have been my sister. This could have been my niece. This could have been my cousin,” said Olakunle Fakiyesi, MSU Nigerian Alumni Association. “I believe if these were American girls, the world would have stopped and these girls would have been brought home.”

“I think this is a war against society. We need to fight for Nigeria because their voices are not being heard,” said a student reading a poem she wrote.

“You can do it. I can do it. We can do it. We are Morgan State. We support those girls. God be with you all and God bless. Thank you,” said Chinedu Nworkeafor, Morgan State Student Government Association.

Hundreds of people protested Tuesday in Washington, D.C. outside the Nigerian Embassy. They’re upset that the Nigerian government has not done enough and are trying to put pressure on them.

This comes at a critical time for Nigeria with the World Economic Forum beginning Wednesday and lasting to the end of the week. So this is not the attention the government wanted there.

The public outcry has even stretched into the social media universe. A lot of people are using the hashtag “#BringBackOurGirls.”

Head of Morgan State University's Nigerian Student Association pleads for action.

Head of Morgan State University’s Nigerian Student Association pleads for action.

Morgan State University students release balloons for each kidnapped Nigerian girl.

Morgan State University students release balloons for each kidnapped Nigerian girl.

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