For Susan Garrison, there’s nothing more rewarding than taking care of your own. Since 1994, the founder and executive director of Media’s Center Foundation has drawn on her considerable experience as an attorney to tackle a host of women’s issues in Delaware, Chester and Montgomery counties. “There’s a center of peace in each of us,” says Garrison. “If we can just see that in each other, there can be less conflict and less fear.”
Over the years, the Center Foundation has grown to include WomenCare, a program that fosters independence and self-sufficiency, and the Young Parents Support Network, which helps pregnant teens and young parents finish high school, prepare for college and begin careers. In response to increased need during the recession, CF has bolstered its mentoring and social-work staffs while providing more job-readiness and parenting training.
“You can only help one person at a time—everyone has to play a part,” says Garrison, who’s also the founder of the nonprofit Friends of the Delaware County Women’s Commission. “I’ve been doing this for 17 years, and I could never give it up.”