- Massachusetts Probation Service
Media Contact for Lowell Motherhood Program hosted graduation with Miss Massachusetts as guest speaker
Coria Holland, Communications Director
Lowell, MA — The Lowell Motherhood Program graduated 11 mothers, ages 21 to 38 years old, at a special ceremony featuring Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras as a guest speaker recently in Lowell. The graduates were presented with certificates of completion and Ms. Taveras gifted each of them with caps and gowns.
She visited the participants this fall to share her story and offer words of encouragement and decided to return to congratulate the mothers on reaching their milestone, according to Kathleen Michaud, a former Middlesex Probate & Family Probation Officer who has since been promoted to Assistant Chief Probation Officer at Worcester Probate & Family Court.
“The mothers really connected with her and appreciated the opportunity to meet with her. They are so excited that she returned to join them in the celebration,” Michaud said. Several of the graduates overcame great odds. It is one mother’s second attempt at completing the program after having to drop out after she violated her probation the first time around. A second participant is celebrating one year being sober. Another mother, who lost custody of her child, now has unsupervised parenting time.
The Lowell Motherhood Program is one of seven Mothers’ Programs in five counties across the state. The Lowell Motherhood Program is run by Lowell District, Middlesex Juvenile, Middlesex Probate & Family, and Superior Court Probation Officers: Michaud is currently of Worcester Probate & Family; Jennifer Kirchner of Lowell District; Kristen Pepin of Middlesex Juvenile; and Kimberly Bowden of Middlesex Superior Court, Lowell session.
The Massachusetts Probation Service helps court-involved women, who are mothers, become better parents to their children. The Mothers Programs typically run for 10-12 weeks and are offered twice a year—fall and spring. The Lowell Motherhood Program was launched during the spring of 2017. This is the program’s fourth graduation class. Sessions feature interactive lectures by guest speakers who help women navigate the court system, learn about community resources, and other guidance on working with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Top photo, from left: Facilitators Lowell District Probation Officer Jennifer Kirchner, Middlesex (Lowell) Superior Probation Officer Kimberly Bowden, Miss Massachusetts Gabriela "Gabby" Taveras, Worcester Probate and Family Assistant Chief Probation Officer Kathleen Michaud, and Middlesex (Lowell) Juvenile Probation Officer Kristen Pepin.