Around Queens: Helping Incarcerated Moms
Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, the Executive Director of Hour Children, became a foster parent in 1986 to eight children of incarcerated mothers at the convent where she lived. That set the beginning of her work with families impacted by incarceration. In 1992, she founded Hour Children as a nonprofit organization to offer supportive services to other children of incarcerated mothers and the mothers themselves. Before that, she was responsible for New York State curriculum oversight for Catholic elementary schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn and both a school principal and teacher at various Catholic elementary schools. In addition to being an educator, she is a Certified Foster Care Trainer. Sister Tesa has been named a CNN Hero (2012), a White House Champion of Change (2013), the 2014 winner of the Opus Prize, and in 2015 was awarded the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice. In 2017, she was named to the Irish American Hall-of-Fame.