Local humanitarian speaks at Culture Club

A well-known Youngstown educator and humanitarian was the featured speaker for the monthly Breakfast Series at the Brier Hill Cultural Center on Saturday morning.

Sister Jerome Corcoran’s goal for speaking at the Brier Hill Breakfast Series was to celebrate the people who have come from other countries to Youngstown looking for a better life. The focus of her speech was embracing all cultures.

“Everybody here has a history. That is so nice,” said Corcoran.

She said her parents were also immigrants from Ireland who came to the states for the same reason.

The 97-year old educator has been spent decades helping to provide a better life for families and children in the inner city. She started the Mill Creek Community Center, as well as the Youngstown Community School in 1998, which is a K-6 charter school.

“Twice that school in inner city Youngstown was rated excellent by the State Board of Education,” said Corcoran.

Most who came out to hear her speak knew her very well. Others were impressed with her reputation.

“Her career has been exemplary with the students in the community of Youngstown. And she’s truly a pilar. So anytime that someone of her like is somewhere, I like to come out and just pull upon her wisdom,” said Hasheen Wilson of Canfield.

“She really is a legend. And she has a wealth of knowledge, not just with the people who were privileged to hear today, but almost like on any topic,” added Corcaran’s personal friend, Mary Dunn.

Two years ago, Corcoran started the non-profit Sister Jerome’s Poor, to help the working poor. In September, she started Sister Jerome’s Kids. The program is helping 12 college kids make it through college by providing help with gas, food and other needs.

The dropout rate for less fortunate college students is 50 percent in the first year, with only 15 percent graduating.

During the event, Sister Jerome’s Kids was presented with a $10,000 check from the Conrad Hilton Foundation to help fund the program.


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