Queens College Program Helps Abused Start Anew
Dr. Carmella Marrone is the founder and executive director of Women and Work, a 15-week course taught under the auspices of Queens College, that serves disadvantaged women and gives them a new start. Education Update spent some time at the offices of Women and Work and interviewed Dr. Marrone and her daughter, Tinamarie Nylund, who works at the program. Several students who were about to graduate and enter the shorter “reentry to life” course praised the program.
Women and Work is an innovative program that helps women who have been victims of domestic violence, those who have been forgotten by society, women who have given up, to find a safe haven, a place where each can learn to gain increased self-esteem. This program includes practical courses in learning and maintaining good office skills, and offers a person a chance to explore their own interests in a concerted effort to re-build or establish a stronger sense of self.
“If you save the life of a woman, you also save the life of a family,” Dr. Marrone said. Dr. Marrone has taken a remarkable journey in her own life to lead a program that has the support of President James Muyskens at Queens College, and an impressive lineup of corporate sponsors, like the Helena Rubenstein company.
Dr. Marrone was in a corporate position with a major airline and had a big house in a nice suburb with her husband and daughter. After a major illness, she retreated to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia to die, but instead found a renewed sense of purpose and meaning to her life.
Marrone, earned a BA, MA & PhD at Queens College. She found office space at Fort Totten in Queens where she had seven students and six computers. Today, her program has more than 50 students per 15-week course and a lengthy waiting list.
Women in her course work on improving critical thinking skills, take classes on Women in Media to better understand the way society perceives women and their changing roles in the workplace and in raising children. There is work on discovering one’s vision and creating a plan to achieve one’s goals. At the end of the course, graduation is held on the campus of Queens College, where President Muyskens and Senior Vice President Sue Henderson regularly attend.
“She’s remarkable,” Henderson said of Marrone. #