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Center for Family Life: Profile: Sister Geraldine
Sister Geraldine
Sr. Geraldine Tobia, a Sister of the Good Shepherd, received her Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude from Fordham University, her Master of Arts in Family & Community from Columbia University Teachers College, and her Master of Social Work degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work. Her initial years of professional work were in residential treatment for adolescent girls in Westchester County, New York. Her succeeding position as the director of a pioneering diagnostic center for adolescents, the Euphrasian Residence, led her to take on the role of Program Coordinator of the Family Reception Center in Park Slope, Brooklyn. In 1978 she co-founded and co-directed the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, together with Sister Mary Paul Janchill.

Sister Geraldine steadily built the dual focus of the Center for Family Life on families and on the community itself. She frequently consulted with other groups and agencies in the community and was an ardent advocate for community responses to families and children. She also joined city and national organizations, offering technical assistance to visitors from other states as the Center steadily reached prominence as a national model. She was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work. She was a steady, visible, active participant in the life of the Sunset Park community. With Sr. Mary Paul, she shared in the Robin Hood Foundation Heroes Award in 1991, and in the Family Honors Award by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2000. At her death in April 2000, she was enrolled in the Hall of Fame at Columbia University's School of Social Work Alumni Association.


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