|Twenty-eight years ago, Sister
Charmaine Krohe recognized the need for an outreach program to
the children and families of Southern Park Heights in Baltimore. Then a
Pastoral Associate of the St. Ambrose Catholic Church, she founded the
St. Ambrose Family Outreach Center. Little did she realize that she was
launching a project that was destined to become her life's work.
In the beginning, the St. Ambrose Center operated from a small ground floor of a former hardware store. Sister Charmaine made it a point to visit every household in the community, enlisting the help, support, and involvement of neighborhood children and adults. They quickly realized Sister Charmaine was there to stay, and the Center became a trusted neighborhood institution. When the building became available for purchase, local children and teens helped raise the necessary funds.
Over the years, the Center has remained at its original location and has continued it commitment to work with community residents to identify their needs and to develop collaborative programs and services to help meet those needs. In 1996, St. Ambrose became part of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Baltimore, one of the oldest charities in the State of Maryland.
Sister Charmaine helped to found the Park-Reist Corridor Coalition and served as both President and Vice President. Also, she was the first woman to serve as President of the Board of Directors of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees fir the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and a Delegate to the Provincial Chapter of Affairs for the School of Sisters of Notre Dame.
Sister Charmaine Krohe has received many awards during her career including the "Kathy Hughes' Humanitarian Award," the National Association of Social Workers' "Public Citizen of the Year," the Loyola College Milch Award, City Paper's Unsung Hero Awards, and the WJZ TV 13 Gold Salute. Baltimore City's Office of Employment Development recently recognized "her support and contributions to the Youth Opportunities Community-Based Programs." The Baltimore Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority presented her with an award for "outstanding leadership and meritorious service to the citizens of Baltimore."
It is clear that Sister Charmaine Krohe is a Maryland woman who has made a unique and lasting contribution to improving the lives of children and families and she has also provided a role model of achievement for tomorrow's female leaders.
Biography courtesy of the Maryland Commission for Women, 2001.