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HOLYOKE — After 25 years at the helm, Anne Teschner will step down as executive director of the Care Center. She will continue in that role to support succession planning with the Care Center’s board of directors to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership.

The Care Center helps young mothers and low-income women resume their education wherever they left off, from HiSET preparation to an onsite college. Designed for busy mothers living in poverty, the Care Center offers childcare, transportation, counseling, food, and healthcare so that women can concentrate on their studies.

During her tenure, Teschner has been instrumental in steering the Care Center through pivotal changes, establishing the organization as a leader in the realm of women’s education and empowerment.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I want to express my gratitude for Anne’s many contributions to the Care Center and to our community. She has led the organization with passion and a deep commitment to its mission and the women we serve,” said Sylvia Galván, board chair. “For 25 years, Anne and the Care Center staff have created an environment where women can succeed by identifying obstacles and creating solutions.

Under Teschner’s leadership, the Care Center has launched visionary initiatives, such as the Bard Microcollege Holyoke and the Moving Women Forward Endowment campaign. Each year, approximately 200 young mothers and other low-income women benefit from the holistic support provided by the Care Center, based at 247 Cabot St. in Holyoke.

“When it became clear that a college degree was needed to move families out of poverty, the Care Center developed an award-winning college-preparatory approach that integrates athletics, art, and poetry into a GED curriculum,” Galván said. “When we realized our students needed more support at the college level, the Care Center launched Bard Microcollege Holyoke, the nation’s first college for young mothers and low-income women. To permanently sustain this powerful work, the Care Center launched the Moving Women Forward Endowment campaign.”

The Care Center has received recognition, including the Presidential Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award and the Commonwealth Award, the highest awards given at the national and state levels, respectively, to organizations of this kind.

The process of identifying the next executive director to build upon this foundation is underway. Spearheaded by Galván and supported by Koya Partners, the national search aims to bring forth a leader who will continue to further the center’s mission and legacy of impact.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Care Center’s 2023 graduation ceremony will be held at the Wistariahurst Museum on Friday, June 30 from 1 to 3 p.m. Thirteen students attending the Care Center who have passed the HiSet (GED) exam this year will be honored at the event.

Close to 100 people are expected to attend the event at Wistariahurst, at the corner of Beech and Cabot streets. Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia and state Rep. Patricia Duffy will speak at the ceremony, as will the Care Center valedictorian.

“This may be the last graduation in the Valley this year, but most likely the most inspiring,” Care Center Executive Director Anne Teschner said. “These graduates are extraordinary young mothers who give us reason to feel optimistic about our future as a country. All have dropped out of school, struggle with the challenges of poverty and the demands of parenting, yet all returned to their educational path to pass the HiSet (formerly GED) exam. The majority (more than 75%) are continuing to college. Many have already begun their college career. These are smart, capable young women who are facing their life challenges with grace and strength.”

Each year, more than 100 pregnant and parenting teens attend the Care Center, an alternative education center located at 247 Cabot St. Services include academic classes in preparation for the HiSet and college, on-site daycare, counseling, assistance with the transition to higher education, and door-to-door transportation.

The Care Center’s approach has led to regional and national recognition as a model of innovative programming for young families. In 2012, the Care Center was selected as one of 12 organizations in the country to receive the Presidential Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest honor a program like this can receive.

In 2016, the Care Center and Bard College launched Bard Microcollege Holyoke, the first college in the country tailored for young mothers, located at the Care Center. In 2019, the Care Center won the Commonwealth Award, the highest award given by the state of Massachusetts to a cultural organization.

The Care Center is supported by numerous funding sources and individuals, including the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and generous donors from throughout the region.