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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Reflections on 35 Years at Catholic Charities with Fran Troutman

Fran Troutman, who most recently served as the inaugural Vice President of Adult Education at Catholic Charities Boston, is retiring after more than 35 years with the Agency. Fran spent the majority of her career developing and overseeing life-changing programs at Catholic Charities North in Lynn, first serving as the Director of Education and Training programs before being promoted to Director of Catholic Charities North in 2015. She implemented crucial education and employment training programs including GED/HiSET and ESOL classes, mentoring and career counseling programs such as YouthWorks and CareerWorks, as well as parenting programs.

In honor of her retirement, we spoke with Fran about her time at the Agency and her plans for the future.

What have you found most rewarding about your career at Catholic Charities?

What is most meaningful for me is working with our students. Since I started here, my primary job for the first 29 years or so was working with our education programs. Seeing our students come in, often not having a lot of confidence in themselves and in what they could achieve, and then seeing them learn and grow and make progress and conquer their goals was very rewarding. What’s special, too, is that our students see our staff not just as teachers in a classroom but as true mentors and advocates. It makes a huge difference. I have also deeply enjoyed working with the wonderful staff at Catholic Charities. It has always made the work easier being surrounded by such caring and supportive professionals.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Catholic Charities?

I’ve really enjoyed all the graduation ceremonies, but there’s one ceremony in particular that stands out in my mind. It was about 25 years ago and was held at the Knights of Columbus. It was a really big graduation, and at that time it was almost like the crystallization of everything we were trying to do. We had some new youth programs there, we had our young parent program there, we had students from YouthWorks, and we had some students that were coming to our evening program. It was this big, glorious event and since then, we’ve really tried to make sure that our graduations are as much like the graduations they would’ve experienced in high school. To be able to create ceremonies like that has meant a lot for the students and for us.

What are you most looking forward to in your retirement?

I’d love to travel––I’ve been teasing people for the past year that when I stop working, I’m going to hike the Appalachian trail. I also have some family that live in North Carolina and they’re running a bakery, so I want to get down there and give them a hand. I’m sure I’ll also do some volunteer work as well. This will be a great time to explore new life options.

While Fran’s last day at the Agency will be on Friday, February 17, she will continue to serve on the North Advisory Board and will remain a valued member of Catholic Charities Boston’s family. Thank you, Fran, for your exemplary work and commitment to serving those in need.

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