Saint Joseph’s Magis Medal Winners
Catherine Jones (Saint Joseph’s University ’14)
Catherine Jones and her brother Chris (pictured) are the co-founders and creative spark for Kind to Kids Foundation. While at a Delaware sports event, they saw large groups of empty seats around the stadium. They realized the empty seats were a wasted opportunity and asked, “Why can’t they be given to kids in foster care and children in poverty?” It was a pivotal question – and the start of Kind to Kids. The organization helps children who are victims of child abuse, neglect and poverty, by providing LifeSkills educational programs and experiences to expand their world and discover new possibilities. Through Kind to Kids, a child in need learns important skills for success in life, such as decision making, goal setting, and healthy relationships. They attend exciting events, such as a professional baseball game, musical performance, or theater production. The organization’s supportive services extend throughout the year with toys and books distributed during the holidays. Kind to Kids Foundation has provided these experiences for over 9,000 children and donated over $ $150,000 in ticket values to children in foster care, foster families, and children in poverty since its inception in 2008. Catherine is the Community Relations Coordinator and is responsible for effective communication of the mission, facilitating relationships, and collaborating with community partners. Along with her brother, she serves in a number of ways – from high level outreach, public speaking and business planning to distributing tickets and volunteering at events.
Elisabeth Hagen, MD (Saint Joseph’s University ’89)
Elisabeth Hagen, MD, served as Undersecretary for Food Safety in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Dr. Hagen’s job uniquely blended her identities as a parent and physician — and her commitment to community service. While first at Saint Joseph’s University, she was active in many community service projects, and took a leadership role with Hand in Hand, an organization dedicated to increasing interaction between the Saint Joseph’s University community and those with special needs. She deferred her acceptance to Harvard Medical School for a year to provide volunteer medical care to orphaned children in Honduras. After practicing and teaching medicine in New York and later Washington, DC, she joined the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. She was serving as the USDA’s Chief Medical Officer in 2010 when she was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the US Senate as the Under Secretary for Food Safety. She is a Founding Advisory Board Member of the World Food Center at UC Davis, and is currently an advisor to leading food companies and non – profit organizations
Sister Mary Scullion, RSM (Saint Joseph’s University ’11)
Sister Mary Scullion, RSM, is president and executive director of Project HOME, a nationally recognized organization in Philadelphia that provides supportive housing, employment, education and health care to enable chronically homeless and low-income persons to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. She was selected to chair the Hunger and Homelessness Committee for the weeklong World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia this September, which will feature Pope Francis’s first visit to the United States. Sr. Mary has been involved in service work and advocacy for homeless and mentally ill persons since 1978. She co-founded Woman of Hope in 1985, which provides permanent residential and support services for homeless and mentally ill women. She created the first Outreach Coordination Center in the nation, an innovative program coordinating private and public agencies doing outreach to chronically homeless persons. Project HOME has grown from an emergency winter shelter to over 600 units of housing and three businesses that provide employment to formerly homeless persons. Project HOME also works to prevent homelessness in a low-income neighborhood in North Philadelphia. This initiative includes economic development, homeownership for the working poor, the Honickman Learning Center, and the Comcast Technology Labs. The program’s Stephen Klein Wellness Center is a model for integrated health care, including primary care, behavioral health, dental care, a YMCA, a pharmacy and wellness services. It serves those who are homeless and is located in the second-poorest zip code in Philadelphia. Her advocacy efforts have resulted in homeless persons receiving the right to vote, as well as a landmark federal court decision that affects the fair housing rights of persons with disabilities.