Sister Jerome Launches New Ministry to Aid Poor
CANFIELD, Ohio – Sister Jerome Corcoran, the founder of the Millcreek Children’s Center and the Youngstown Community School, is embarking, at age 96, on a new ministry, “Sister Jerome’s Poor.”
The ministry will operate out of the Ursuline Center here, says Sister Nancy Dawson, president of the Ursuline Center board of trustees and general superior of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown. It is being supported by donors and the Ursuline Sisters’ Ministry fund.
“I have always loved intensely the work I was doing -- teaching, supervising, administering, ‘begging’ for God's children,” Sister Jerome tells The Business Journal. “In this new spring of my life, I am eager to bring a smile and a hope to those I will be serving.”
Sister Jerome’s new ministry focuses on relieving emergency situations for poor families, many of whom are working poor, including shortages that hinder a child’s education, states the announcement. More children and young people can regularly attend school and college, and achieve more when basic needs are addressed such as transportation, clothing and shoes, groceries, books, supplies and fees, the announcement notes.
“Sharing our community resources is our response to the Gospel message of commitment to justice and to the poor,” says Sister Dawson. “Sister Jerome has worked effectively in the inner city, and brings a broad understanding of the effects of poverty on family life, and especially on the education of the children.”
Sister Jerome taught for 12 years in parochial schools. After receiving her doctorate in 1952, she taught in colleges and universities for several years and for 15 years supervised education in the schools operated by the Diocese of Youngstown.
In 1976, at the request of the city of Youngstown, she began Millcreek Children's Center on Glenwood Avenue. In 1993, a new center was built on Market Street with funds raised through broad community support.
For 36 years, Sister Jerome directed the acclaimed Millcreek Children's Center preschool for children of lower-income working parents. Each year, MCC “graduates” scored high on the state kindergarten screening test. Sister Jerome says she continues her deep love for the children and families and she is happy that, because of good friends, the center has a strong trust fund and also ample operating funds to continue this successful kindergarten preparation program.
In 1998, Sister Jerome, Sister Mary Dunn and the board of directors of Developing Potential Inc. established a charter school next to Millcreek Children's Center. Beginning with 36 kindergarten pupils, Youngstown Community School added a grade each year, and in 2002 a new school was built, which is debt free and now educates 330 pupils in kindergarten through sixth grade.
Following a dispute with the board of Sister Jerome's Schools Inc. over succession planning, Sr. Jerome left the school and community center in May.
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