History

OUR FOUNDERS

 

Lorraine RyanSr. Lorraine Ryan, MMS

Sister Lorraine Ryan, MMS founded Women’s Circle, 501©3 non-profit organization in 2000. She is a former community health nurse with a B.S. in medical research science, a B.S. in nursing, and a Master’s in Public Health. She was a missionary in India for 15 years before coming to Boynton Beach, FL to care for her aging parents. She wanted to help this community and through collaboration was instrumental in the creation of PATCH (Planned Approach To Community Health) ensuring basic health services were available to low-income women. Conducting a survey, she discovered this population of underserved women needed help in getting jobs and therefore created Women’s Circle, Inc.

 

 

Joan CarusilloSister Joan Carusillo, CSC

Sister Joan, a Sister of the Holy Cross, graduated from Dunbarton College in Washington DC. She has had assignments at various Holy Cross schools in the East including St. Mary’s in Notre Dame, Indiana; mission coordinator at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus, Ohio; and principal at one of the Holy Cross high schools. She relocated to South Florida to care for aging parents while ministering at the Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. During this time, she met Sister Lorraine Ryan, MMS; and together, they founded the Women’s Circle with the mission to provide education and literacy programs for underserved women. She is dedicated to Women’s Circle success as a board member, capital campaign committee member, and consultant for the organization.

 

OUR HISTORY

 

In 1999, Sister Lorraine Ryan did a survey of the greatest needs of low-income women in Boynton Beach. Many could not speak English and were unemployed. The survey indicated a need for skills that would improve the women’s employability. Sister Lorraine and Sister Joan Carusillo founded the Women’s Circle to give these women the skills they lacked.

In 2000 the Women’s Circle moved into a 650 square foot rented space. Programs were developed in English, Creole literacy, computer skills, job preparation and sewing.

The Women’s Circle soon outgrew the space. In 2010 the Women’s Circle received an interest free loan from the Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency and was able to purchase and move to a new 1250 square foot space. Demand for classes has continued to grow and a project is now underway to extend this space with a 4581 square foot addition.

Women’s Circle is supported by grants and private donations. 

 

 

 

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