Sister Pat chats with students outside of the Center.

Sister Pat chats with students outside of the Center.

by Caelie Haines

The Caroline Center, named after Mother Caroline Friess, is an education and career skills training center for women sponsored by the Atlantic-Midwest Province of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. It is located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.

Caroline Center’s 15-week programs train women for employment as nursing assistants or pharmacy technicians. The programs are scholarship-based, tuition-free and offered three times a year. Students must meet certain qualifications and successfully complete an interview before being accepted. Last year the Center implemented an online application; 880 women applied for the 90 available slots.

Additional life-skills education sets the Center apart. There is also a strong emphasis on job placement; students have the opportunity to do clinical rotations during their training. Caroline Center recently added an academic and career advancement program to encourage graduates to advance their careers.

The goals of Caroline Center have remained consistent over the years. “We have always looked for where the jobs are, with good pay and room for advancement,” says Sister Patricia McLaughlin, SSND. Sister Pat recently retired after 22 years as Director of Caroline Center. Under her guidance, the program’s focus shifted with the changing needs of the times from teaching women manual skills such as upholstery to preparing them for careers in the healthcare sector. As a result, thousands of women, including approximately 6,000 during Sister Pat’s time, have passed through Caroline Center and on to a better future.

Photo credit: Photo Courtesy of Caroline Center