Sister Jerome’s Mission Honors Clarence Smith

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The philanthropy of Clarence R. Smith was honored before 250 people who gathered last night at the Maronite Center for a testimonial dinner sponsored by Sister Jerome’s Mission.

Smith, the founder of Compco Industries and benefactor to numerous nonprofits and entrepreneurs, has long supported Sister Jerome Corcoran and her educational initiatives.

Sister Jerome – now age “100 and a half,” she jokes – founded the Mill Creek Children’s Center in 1976 and the Youngstown Community School in 1998. In 2012, she officially established Sister Jerome’s Mission, a ministry of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown that provides low-income college students with financial assistance to meet basic needs and matches them with mentors.

One of the mission’s beneficiaries, Tekia Huggins, told how she recently graduated from Youngstown State University, an accomplishment she attributed to Sister Jerome, her “beacon of light.”

Two weeks ago Sister Jerome fell and broke her hip and shoulder. She is undergoing rehab and was unable to attend the dinner. But that didn’t stop her from introducing Smith via a video that praised his generosity.

She related the story of a young man named Adam who would have dropped out of Youngstown State University had Smith not written a check to pay his tuition. Today that individual is a successful professional and father.

”Adam is the American Dream because of Clarence Smith,” Sister Jerome said.

In brief remarks, Smith thanked those in the audience who have shared his philanthropic ventures. “I’ve had a great life and it’s been a pleasure to help Sister Jerome with her excursions,” he said.

Maraline Kubik, director of Sister Jerome’s Mission, announced the creation of the Clarence R. and Rose Marie Smith Scholarship, and  introduced the first beneficiary, Ramone A. Elkins.

Elkins, a graduate of East High School, received an associate degree from Erie Community College and is attending Walsh University where he is studying physical education.He plans to graduate next year.

Pictured: Maraline Kubik, director of Sister Jerome’s Mission, scholarship recipient Ramone A. Elkins, and Clarence and Rose Marie Smith.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.