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    Mansfield students help counterparts in Ghana

    Angela Corkery, Sofia Pelletiere, and Grace Crowley sorted books bound for Ghana at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mansfield.
    Angela Corkery, Sofia Pelletiere, and Grace Crowley sorted books bound for Ghana at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mansfield.

    BOOK DRIVE FOR SCHOOL IN AFRICA: Sarah O’Callahan, the librarian at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mansfield, showed middle school students there a documentary on libraries throughout the world to which some students have to walk a n hour or more to visit.

    “We all realized how fortunate we were to have libraries so close to us,” said Callahan, who has been the librarian at the K-8 school for four years. “So I looked online and found an organization, the African Library Project, which makes it easy for groups like us to organize book drives.”

    The school adopted it as a Lent project and after just two days, “we had piles and piles of books,” she said.


    The students, along with faculty, staff and parents, came up with 1,000 children’s books, and $522 for mailing costs, to send to the Boti Roman Catholic Primary and Junior High School in eastern Ghana. The African school has about 600 students, she said.

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    “It really was a group effort,” O’Callahan said. “We have more than 200 kids in our school, and the older kids helped with the sorting, and the seventh- and eighth-graders did research on Ghana, which they presented to the younger students. It was a great learning experience.”

    St. Mary’s students got “very excited doing this project, the idea of making a difference in one community, one school helping another school. The kids also put cards and letters into the package for the students there,” she said.

    O’Callahan said she hopes the project instills in St. Mary’s students a lifelong concept of helping others.

    “The idea was inspiring for them,” she said. “I hope they try to do this sort of thing later in their lives as well.”


    For information on the project, visit

    HONORED FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE: John Yazwinski of Norton, CEO of Father Bill’s & MainSpring, a Quincy-based advocacy and support group for the homeless, was awarded the 2013 Frank McCauley Community Service Award by the Quincy Lions Club.

    “When people think of Father Bill’s they often think of the emergency shelter,” said club president Charles Phelan. “But the services offered by Father Bill’s & MainSpring extend far beyond that. Under John’s tenure, Father Bill’s has made a commitment not to just manage homelessness, but work toward ending homelessness.”

    Phelan said last year alone, the agency helped nearly 600 families find permanent housing. Yazwinski joined Father Bill’s in 1996 and was named executive director in 1999, and president and CEO in 2007.

    PLYMOUTH STUDENT WINS CONTEST: Matthew Luongo of Plymouth, a senior at Boston College High School, and fellow student Liam Walsh of Watertown, won the 1st Holy Cross Manuscript Challenge. Students competed at Classics Day at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, and were given a choice of several medieval Latin manuscripts, then required to translate, transcribe, and comment on the medieval scribal process.


    BUSINESS BRIEFS: Randy Braithwaite of Brockton was named a service technician at Rockland-based Bay Copy. He has been a copier technician for eight years, most recently with New England Copy Solutions in Woburn.

    Whole Health for Men and Women, a nutritional health-counseling service, has opened a facility at 464 Granite Ave., Milton. Betsy Cohen, certified health counselor, formed Whole Health in 2008, and is also a presenter at various wellness centers, health clinics, athletic clubs and spas, educational institutions and corporate facilities.

    John Neil of Scituate joined Hill & Partners in Weymouth as an associate project manager, where he contributes to the design and production process, and coordinates various services for clients’ exhibitions at trade shows.

    Elisabeth Ortiz Jackson (inset) of East Bridgewater was named executive director of Bridge Over Troubled Waters, a Boston-based agency that helps homeless and runaway youths. Jackson, who worked at the agency from 1993-2003, most recently was finance director at Summer Advantage USA and director of accounting and purchasing at Building Educated Leaders for Life.

    Jossie Owens of Mansfield was named to the newly created position of vice president for adult and graduate studies at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy. The Eastern Nazarene alumna was the first African-American woman in the United States and Canada to be elected district superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene, with oversight of 103 churches. Before that, she was pastor of Second Church in Dorchester and principal of Parkside Christian Academy.

    Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at