Mary Burns, SC is the Founder and former Co-Director of the Maura Clarke – Ita Ford Center. Sister Mary brings an extensive background in education, community organizing and leadership to the Center. She has taught at both the elementary and high school levels and has done extensive work with adult learning. While working in adult learning, she was instrumental in providing equal credentials for Latinos as was provided to others in a diocesan wide program. She has a B.A. in elementary education and an M.A. in Urban Ministry.
Sister Mary has trained with the Industrial Areas Foundation and has been a leader in East Brooklyn Congregations since 1988. She has worked with EBC on starting three public high schools in the neighborhood. Additionally, Sister Mary completed a one-year training program, Leadership New York, conducted by the Coro Foundation and the New York Partnership, which brings together leaders from all sectors of New York City. In 1995 she was named one of the Top 100 Irish Americans by Irish America Magazine for her work in founding MCIF Center. In the spring of 1997, she and Mary Dowd, Co-Director, shared a Helen Hunt Neighborhood Leadership Award from the New York Women’s Foundation. In 2000 Sister Mary received the Union Square Award presented by the Fund for the City of New York in 2000 and the Caritas Award from the Sisters of Charity in 2003. Currently, Sister Mary works at St. Joseph High School.