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Grant to help at-risk students

July 17, 2013
Special to the Town Crier

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has awarded Sister Jerome's Poor: Mission College a St. Ann Legacy grant of $5,000.

"This St. Ann Legacy grant will provide welcome help for our minority college students, who urgently need groceries and shoes, textbooks and gas cards, even repair of their car, if they have one," states Sister Jerome Corcoran, OSU. "The need is so great and the students work so hard that now they are seeing graduation more surely in their future."

Sister Jerome's Poor: Mission College is a new program to help young-adult students from economically-disadvantaged families overcome hurdles that prevent them from receiving the certifications/degrees necessary to break the cycle of poverty and become productive members of society. This is a major blessing to both the youth and society, Sister Jerome says.

Article Photos

Photo special to the Town Crier
Sister Nancy Dawson, general superior of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown and Sister Jerome Corcoran, OSU, executive director, hold the letter informing them of a $5,000 grant to help the Mission College Project.

"Poverty begets poverty, and the only hope to escape it is a good education. I have found this to be true time and again in my decades as an educator and school administrator," Sister Jerome continues. "Helping college students to stay in school is a prevalent need that responds fabulously to a little help at a critical time."

This ministry will utilize the St. Ann Legacy grant to assist 12 young adults from poor families with education-related expenses that could force them to drop out of school. As needed, they will be supplied with gas cards or bus passes for help getting to and from campus/class, gift cards for or direct donations of proper shoes and clothing, food, books and materials for classes -- including technology necessary to produce homework/papers for school.

"For more than 15 years, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has worked to improve the lives of those most in need with special attention to families, women and children living in poverty."

The Saint Ann Legacy Grant Program bestows grants on ministries "led by Catholic women religious, or where women religious are significantly involved...The ministries must serve within the Dioceses of Cleveland or Youngstown."

"Sister Jerome's Poor is a ministry sponsored by The Ursuline Center to help needy working families and college students struggling to pay bills. Sister Jerome is the director of our newest ministry, which is actively supported by Sister Nancy Dawson, president of the Board of Directors of The Ursuline Center and general superior of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown.

"With rising costs and job losses, there are acute needs experienced by the working poor, and few or no resources to help in emergencies. Helping families to hold together and college students to stay in school are two prevalent needs that respond fabulously to a little help at a critical time. This ministry does not duplicate existing services."

Since 1874, the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, have ministered in education, hospitals and health care facilities and in parish and outreach programs for the poor and disadvantaged. As instructed by our founder, St. Angela Merici, the Ursuline Sisters build bridges between the more fortunate members of our community and those at risk of becoming "lost."

Among the ministries the Ursuline Sisters have and are involved with are the founding of Ursuline High School and Youngstown Community School in Youngstown, The Ursuline Preschool and Kindergarten in Canfield, Beatitude House, The Potter's Wheel in Youngstown that helps disadvantaged women, co-sponsoring the Dorothy Day House on Youngstown's north side, the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry, The Guardian Angel Caf & Angela's Place held at The Ursuline Center, and Casa Madre, a home where children infected or affected by the HIV virus receive tutoring, mentoring and support services. The Motherhouse pool in Canfield serves more than 800 people weekly with swimming lessons for children and preventive and other health care for adults. Thousands benefit from these and other ministries offered at the educational facility, The Ursuline Center, with such opportunities as Adult Enrichment Classes, a Labyrinth, Prison Ministry, Pastoral and Bereavement Counseling, Prayer Shawl Ministry, which brings the comfort and security of God's Love to the seriously ill.

Sister Jerome's Poor, which aids 150 working families living in city-center Youngstown with emergency expenses and is expanding, Spiritual Direction and Retreats; and The Ursuline Center Book Club. Also offered at the site are Walsh University Accelerated Program and Pymatuning Rehab Speech and Hearing Services.

The building will soon become home to a new ministry, Ursuline Sisters Senior Living, which will provide 12 apartments for independent seniors of moderate Social Security income looking for a safe and secure environment in their twilight years that they would not otherwise be able to afford.

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown also minister with the elderly and ill, in social work and as chaplains in area healthcare, rehabilitation and nursing home facilities, and in area parishes.



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