Sharing lessons and stories: City Connects’ Executive Director Mary Walsh

Mary Walsh, Executive Director of City Connects and the Mary E. Walsh Center for Thriving Children (Photo: Caitlin Cunningham)

Ask Mary Walsh, the Executive Director of City Connects, about her love of education, and she talks about her parents who grew up in Ireland and were only able to attend school through the fourth grade. 

“It was always my dad’s deepest regret that he never could get more education,” she says. 

Walsh shares this story and the road that led her to become a professor of education in Boston College Magazine’s What I’ve Learned section. 

As Walsh tells BC Magazine, one key lesson she has learned from her father is “Nobody can take your education from you.”

However obstacles like poverty, hunger, and parental depression can prevent children from getting an education in the first place. What can make a difference is equipping schools to move these obstacles aside so children can learn. And that’s why Walsh launched City Connects, to put Coordinators in schools who look at every child and provide services and supports to maximize each child’s readiness to learn. 

Another lesson is “Always live on the hyphen.” 

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