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City students pair up with Marguerite’s Place for video

By Grace Pecci - Staff Writer | Jun 28, 2019

NASHUA – In celebrating 25 years of service, staff members from Marguerite’s Place sought help from a team of Nashua High School South video production students to make a film that shares the success of their residents.

Marguerite’s Place, located on Palm Street in Nashua, was established in 1994 by two Grey Nuns, Sister Sharon Walsh and Sister Elaine Fahey, who worked to serve at-risk homeless women and their children.

“The decision was made to establish Marguerite’s Place Inc. in Nashua because at the time, there were no long-term housing with services with on-site child care for this population in the entire state of New Hampshire. This has proven to be an important decision, as the number of women and children at-risk continues to rise each year,” states the nonprofit organization’s history online.

The nonprofit has a mission of providing struggling women with children the right tools to lead a self-sufficient life.

Families who come to stay at Marguerite’s Place can rent furnished apartments for two years until they get themselves established. Mothers are required to either work, take part in a training program or attend classes during the week. Marguerite’s Place also provides case managers and free on-site child care.

“Marguerite’s Place Inc. staff stand firm in believing that if people are motivated and given the opportunity to acquire skills of daily living in a safe, secure environment, they will be able to work miracles in their lives,” it states on the nonprofit’s history page.

The organization has seen many come and go during the last 25 years. As a way of honoring the success of many women and families, a video will be created and showcased during its Fall Gala.

Recently, Marguerite’s Place Director of Development and Public Relations Christa Tsechrintzis was able to build a partnership with officials at the Nashua Technology Center.

Tsechrintzis said she met with center co-Director Mike McQuilkin and brainstormed different ways that career and technical education (CTE) students could help in a variety of projects.

After forming this partnership, McQuilkin got help from Nashua High School South video production and broadcasting instructor Jeff Leone, who recruited three of his students to take part in this video project.

South seniors Dylan Watts, Charles McKelvey and Sam Paradis were in attendance Wednesday, making sure everything went smoothly.

McKelvey and Paradis will be using this experience as a jump start for their community project next school term, which is a requirement for Leone’s students to complete in the spring. As part of the community project, students create, edit and deliver a final video product to their client.

“These guys are going to use some of the skills they’ve learned this year to do some interviews, cover video and editing,” Leone said.

The video will share stories from four former residents, four current residents and a mother of a student in the child care center.

Tsechrintzis interviewed the residents Wednesday, while Watts, McKelvey and Paradis filmed, under the supervision of Leone.

When asked what Marguerite’s Place meant for them, past and present residents used words such as “love,” “support,” “guidance,” “stability” and “safety.”

“It was just an amazing way to start our life,” one former resident recalled. “They gave me and my daughter a place to call home. No matter what step I took, they were always there.”

While it was tough in the beginning for this resident, she said it was worth it.

“Being able to provide for my daughter without the help of a man was huge,” she said. She is now a correctional officer.

“What I accomplished was life,” another former resident said. While in Marguerite’s Place, she was able to get her license to drive a car, along with her nursing license.

“I am forever grateful for Marguerite’s Place,” she said.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 594-1243, or at gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.

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