Robbie Sabin LOVES teaching math. A former computer science professor at Loyola Maryland, she has continued her passion, teaching basic math and measurement to the women at Caroline Center. She has served there as an Ignatian volunteer one day a week for the past four years, and talks about what she has received from the women in the program: “They come to Caroline Center to better themselves and their families, and they come with a hope that is contagious! My greatest joy is seeing these women achieve, frequently beyond their expectations of themselves.” While some of the women face challenges due to gaps in math skills, Robbie is always inspired by their dedication and effort. One young woman she remembers in particular: “She had the top grade for the semester, so I presented her with a simple certificate. She later told the group that she had never before been encouraged or celebrated for an achievement.”
Robbie’s involvement with IVC nurtures her as well: “Sharing at the monthly meetings with fellow IVC volunteers is so valuable,” and she encourages others to come and see: “Attend a meeting, meet the group, and discern if it is for you.” Marti Eckert, in her second year with IVC, splits her two-day-a-week commitment between Caroline Center and Innovations Works, an IVC partner that supports entrepreneurship in the city. “I find joy helping the organizations make a difference for Baltimore residents,” she says. “I want people to see Baltimore differently from how it is portrayed in the media.” Caroline Center’s mission is what attracted her to the placement where she serves as the volunteer coordinator. Marti sees hope at every turn: “Each day offers the opportunity to see everyday heroes. I see them in the students trying to build better lives. I see them in the staff who give so much to the students.” She also appreciates the flexibility volunteering through IVC allows: “I care for other family members and IVC and my placements are always accommodating and supportive.” She too encourages others considering joining IVC: “Just do it! Jump in, give back! Make the world a better place.”
ABOUT THE CAROLINE CENTER…
Making a Difference For Women in Baltimore
“Caroline Center’s mission is to empower each woman to reach the fullness of her potential so that she can create a future of hope for herself and her family.”
A few years ago, Sister Grace Sciamanna, SSND, took a call from a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The doctor had just performed emergency surgery on a woman and called because the woman was insistent about signing herself out of the hospital. The reason, she told the doctor, was because her interview at Caroline Center was scheduled that day and she needed to be there. Of course, accommodations were made for her situation, she completed 15 weeks of training and a 4-week internship, and started work as a certified Pharmacy Tech at—you guessed it—Johns Hopkins! This is an illustration of the passion and commitment Sr. Grace sees every day at Caroline Center.
Since its founding in 1996 to serve women in Baltimore City, Caroline Center, named in honor of Mother Caroline Friess, SSND, has seen 75 cohorts—groups of 50-60 women—complete its tuition-free, 15-week, accredited professional program as certified pharmacy technicians or as certified nursing assistants, many of whom take a national test to become geriatric nursing assistants. Caroline Center’s program, teaches women holistic skills beyond the basics. The women often form a sisterhood, learning together the importance of care rooted in sound values and compassion. They learn self-care skills with the help of social workers, licensed counselors, and mentors at the Center. And they remain members of Caroline Center for life, encouraged to further their educations and access the ongoing support services available to them as graduates. Over 2,500 Caroline Center graduates work in healthcare, most choosing to stay in the Baltimore area, contributing to local healthcare organizations and the community at large. These determined women are given support and the self confidence to believe they can make a change for themselves, their children, Baltimore City, and the world. IVC Baltimore is honored to be part of Caroline Center’s mission to the strong women of our city.
To learn more, visit: https://caroline-center.org/