Friendship Formed at Kelso Withstands Test of Time

June Mulligan Hoshall and Maybelle Burns Boone

The Board of Child Care lost a physical piece of its history with the demolition of the former Kelso Home for Girls in Towson, MD. The YMCA of Central Maryland, which owns the property, constructed a new Towson Y and ball fields on the site.

While the BCC family is sad to see the loss of a building that had sheltered and cared for hundred of girls over more than three decades, contact from alumna over the years indicates that many of the relationships formed by the girls who once lived there continue to endure.

Eighty-year-olds June Mulligan Hoshall and Maybelle Burns Boone are one example. They both entered the Kelso Home on July 5, 1938, a day that cemented their friendship. For the next decade, they grew-up in the home together.

Both June and Maybelle came from large families where one of the parents died prematurely and the other parent could not care for all of the children. So the girls at Kelso home became June’s and Maybelle’s family. And June and Maybelle themselves became like sisters.

Just a month apart in age – June was born on June 8, 1931, and Maybelle was born on May 5, 1931 – they walked together to and from Towson Elementary, Towson High School and Towson United Methodist Church, did their chores side-by-side, and spent afternoons roller skating around the Kelso Home driveway and picking fruit from the trees that grew on the home’s 15 acres. Together, they also endured the strict rules of the home and the homesickness that came with being apart from their families.

Maybelle’s high school graduation photo.

Kelso Home was one of three orphanages that eventually merged into the Board of Child Care. Founded in Baltimore City in 1874 by Thomas Kelso, the orphanage was later moved to a new building in Towson – the one being taken down ­– where it operated from 1925 to the 1950s. Before the home was taken down this winter, the YMCA donated some artifacts from the home to BCC, including a roof tile, brick and keystone.

After they graduated from high school and left Kelso in the late 1940s, they both married and started families. Maybelle had three children and June had four. But every spring, when their birthdays rolled around, neither would forget to exchange birthday salutations. Even when Maybelle moved to Florida and they temporarily lost contact, June got on the phone with the operators that controlled the phone lines and tracked Maybelle down.

Today, they talk by phone several times a month and occasionally get together at Maybelle’s apartment. “We are the best of friends,” June says. “We love each other like sisters.”

“We can talk about things that nobody else has experienced,” says Maybelle, who today lives in Parkville, Md. June now lives in Essex, Md.

Although life growing up at Kelso Home had its ups and downs for the women, both are thankful for the care they received.

“When I look back, I thank God I was put in Kelso. I graduated from high school and had religion, which helped me later in life,” says Maybelle.

June as a teenager at Kelso Home.
June as a teenager at Kelso Home.

June recalls that if it weren’t for Kelso, she and her eight siblings “probably would have had a horrible life running the streets of Baltimore while my mother worked. So I was grateful for what I had.”

The girls were still able to visit with their families while living at Kelso. Every Friday was visitation night and June says her mother never missed one, including traveling on three different street cars during a blizzard to make it to a visitation.

June says her grandson often asks to hear stories about the “orphanage,” so she shares with him the many memories she has. Both women describe life at Kelso Home as very regimented. Many of the housemothers were strict and whenever they’d enter the room the girls had to stand and address them as “Ma’me,” and everywhere the girls walked they had to walk in lines.

The Home was kept “immaculately clean.” Each girl had a chore assigned to them for the month – from scrubbing the floors to dusting the wheels on the beds – and they would awaken to a bell at dawn and complete the chores before school. All of their clothes were hand-me-downs and if they tore the girls had to mend them.

A few years ago June took her grandson to a swimming class at the Towson YMCA and saw the old Kelso Home building. She said it wasn’t as beautiful as she recalled, but she recognized the porch steps she used to enjoy jumping down.

“It’s going to be so sad to see the building taken down,” she said in an interview last fall. “There are so many memories. I loved it there.”

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Donald’s story: foster care is only part of who I am

Donald B CropIt should come as no surprise to those who know him that Donald B., who is a genuinely friendly and welcoming person, is finding success as a personal banker.

Advocating for other people and helping them make improvements in their lives — whether by opening their first checking or savings account or getting a mortgage to buy a home — just comes naturally to him. He’s so good at it, in fact, that he rose from an entry-level customer service associate to his current role as a branch consultant in less than a year.

What may be less apparent is that Donald also serves as an advocate on behalf of youth in foster care, helping them to improve their lives.

Compelled to give back

Donald entered foster care at age 12 and says that he learned early on that success is something you have to seek out.

“I met someone who was a former foster youth, and one thing she said that stuck with me is that we are not victims of our situation, we are survivors,” Donald says. “That taught me not to use my situation as a reason why I cannot succeed.”

He says that experience inspired him to want to give back and it’s what he calls on when mentoring others.

“I feel compelled to be an advocate for foster youth because I know a lot of other kids have opportunities that we don’t have,” he says. “I feel like there is lots of potential for us [foster youth] that we may not know about. If nobody taps into that, we’re not going to be able to reach it.”

Donald says he had “a unique experience” in foster care, compared to others he has met. After stays at several facilities in DC, including a foster home, Donald came to live at BCC’s Baltimore campus at age 14.

Able to leave BCC when he turned 18, Donald found a place of his own, a townhouse that he rents in the Druid Hill area of Baltimore, and has been living independently for several years. Currently, Donald is working at the bank and going back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree.

‘Welcome and nurtured’

Donald credits BCC, and the staff in particular, for helping to shape the person he has become.

“BCC made me feel welcome and nurtured,” he says, adding that the staff were especially helpful when he was transitioning out of BCC and getting set up for life on his own. “They were supportive and acted like role models, showing me what success looked like. “BCC was a good environment for me and I liked it there.”

The biggest lesson he says he learned is that having a foster care background should be liberating, not limiting.

“Foster care is only a part of who I am, part of the journey,” Donald says. “It was only eight years of my life. It certainly helped shaped who I am, because it was my teenage years, but it is just a piece of who I am, just a part of the story.”

This story originally appeared in BCC’s 2014 Annual Report.  Click here to see all annual reports.

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Latasha’s story: BCC is a ‘lifesaver’ for college graduate

Latasha - CropLatasha M., though only in her 20s, is already a success story, in so many ways.

Tasha, as she’s called by her friends, graduated with a BS in exercise science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2014. While there she was a member of the Division I indoor and outdoor track teams. She’s currently applying to schools to pursue a masters in athletic training.

“As a kid, I never thought I would finish high school, let alone go to college or grad school,” Tasha says. “Now look at me.”

Without hesitation, Tasha says her dream job would be to combine her passion for athletics and a desire to care for others, working either as an athletic trainer for a professional sports team, like her beloved Baltimore Ravens, or as a personal trainer at a gym.

Achieving her goals

“I love being healthy and active and staying in shape,” she says. “I love getting people in shape. Pushing them a little bit at a time. I have always wanted to help people — I can’t help myself, I’ve been a problem solver all my life.”

In spite of her natural abilities and drive, Tasha credits her relationship with the Board of Child Care as the main reason she has been able to achieve her goals.

“If I could describe my experience with Board of Child Care in one word or phrase, I would say ‘lifesaver,’” she says with a smile. “BCC literally saved my life, in many ways.”

At age 13, Tasha, along with her sister, was moved into foster care, staying first at BCC’s Colesville sibling group home in Silver Spring and later at the Baltimore campus.

“Being in foster care was hard. I didn’t feel like a ‘regular kid’ at first,” she says. “But it helped me get closer to my sister. We quickly realized our family wasn’t the best support system for us. We learned we needed each other and had each other’s back.”

Learning valuable lessons

Tasha says the staff at BCC was especially helpful because they used their own experiences to teach her some valuable life lessons and skills.

“At BCC, I learned not to let my past affect my future,” she says. “The program helped me learn self-discipline, to be humble, to enjoy life, to set goals and learn how to achieve them, and to enjoy the moment.”

Tasha admits it took her awhile but she eventually listened to the staff’s advice, studied hard in school and used sports as a way to feel better about herself.

“BCC was the best environment for me when I needed it most,” says Tasha, who graduated from BCC in 2009 and now lives on her own in an apartment near BCC’s Baltimore campus. “They gave me the support I needed to be successful. If you work with them, BCC can change your life.”

This story originally appeared in BCC’s 2014 Annual Report.  Click here to see all annual reports.

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Treatment Foster Care Parent Profile — The Stockton’s

Stocktons - Crop - CopyAaron and Sandy Stockton say becoming Treatment Foster Care (TFC) parents was a natural fit for them. You might say it has become a “family affair” for the couple, who raised four children of their own and convinced a few of them to become foster parents, too, making it a multi-generational tradition for the Stockons.

‘Her nature’

“I’m one of seven kids, so I’m used to a big family and having a lot of people around my house — siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews,” Sandy says, explaining her interest in foster parenting.

What Sandy didn’t know until recently was that her own mother had been in foster care for a few years as a young child. Even though she never talked about it while raising Sandy and her siblings, Sandy says her mother’s experience and willingness to help others shaped her as a parent and a person.

“When I look back, there was always someone in the house, somebody else’s kids, and now I know why,” she says. “It was just in her nature to help people.”

It’s Sandy’s nature, as well. As a registered nurse, Sandy is trained to provide care and comfort to people in need. Doing so at home seemed like a natural extension of her career.

“Treatment Foster Care challenges me to use my nursing experience and I like that,” she says.

Being a mentor

Stocktons 01 - CopyLike Sandy, Aaron also provides more than just parenting to the kids under his roof. A handyman and a self-starter himself, Aaron teaches each of the TFC boys useful skills and a work ethic that they can use to build their self-esteem and support themselves in the future.

“Aaron and I decided that, when we had boys, we needed to teach them skills so they can go out and support themselves in life,” Sandy says. “The boys have learned so many things from Aaron. Even if we do not have work for them, Aaron will find something for them to do — cut the grass, paint a room, something so they know they earned the money we give them.”

The Stocktons, who began working with the Board of Child Care in 1994, have even passed on their legacy of caring for other to their own children. Two of their daughters, Kimmy and Karmen Trina, have become foster parents with BCC and live nearby. They all chip in together to support the TFC youth entrusted in their care — everything from ride-sharing to doctor’s appointments to helping with grocery shopping. It really is a family affair.

‘An awesome challenge’

In all, Sandy says their experience as foster parents is not much different from raising her own children. And that’s what Sandy and Aaron tell other parents considering foster care, especially TFC.

“If you have it in your hearts to help children, then TFC is a good way to go,” Sandy says. “It’s a challenge — an awesome challenge — but at the end of the day, it’s rewarding. It’s all worth it.”

This profile originally appeared in our 2014 Annual Report. Click here to view all Annual Reports

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Unlikely Duo Raises Money for Board of Child Care

11 year old and 16 year old host video game tournament

It is not often you see a middle school student and a high school student join forces for charity (especially when they did not know each other beforehand). That is exactly what happened, however, when Ethan (age 11) told his mom he wanted to do something for “the kids in the group home.”

Ethan’s mom heard there was a video game club run out of the library, which is how the idea of a video game tournament was born. Dustin, age 16, and a student at North Caroline High School, was an active member of the video game club, and was happy to help recruit players for the event held at the end of October. The game of choice? Super Smash Brothers™!

With some help from the parents, the boys charged admission and a low $3 entry per game played. In total they raised over $400 for Board of Child Care’s Eastern Shore program! The money purchased new board and video games for the residences. Plans are already underway for a repeat tournament in the spring.

Many thanks Ethan and Dustin!

Ethan and Justin
Ethan, age 11, who is in sixth grade at Lockerman Middle School, and Dustin, age 16, who is attending North Caroline High School.


If you would be interested in learning how to set up a fundraiser like Ethan and Dustin did, please contact our development department at (410) 922-2100. 


NOTE: Characters in header image are copyright their respective owners

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Contact: Kristian Sekse

Baltimore, Md. – July 17, 2014 – The board of directors of the Board of Child Care (BCC) has named Laurie Anne Spagnola the nonprofit’s new president. Spagnola leads the organization in its efforts to serve children and families who require physical, emotional, behavioral and social support.

Spagnola becomes just the fourth president in the Board of Child Care’s 140-year history. She succeeds Thomas L. Curcio, who retired June 30, after serving the organization for 21 years.

Spagnola is a seasoned nonprofit executive who has provided leadership for child welfare and human services organizations for more than 25 years. She has an extensive track record of growing operational budgets and making critical community connections.

Jan Hayden, chair of the Board of Child Care’s board of directors, said, “We’re delighted to announce Laurie Anne’s appointment as president. Her energy, drive and experience make her the ideal person to lead the organization into the future. The board is confident the organization’s programs and services for children, youth and their families will grow under Laurie Anne’s guidance and vision.”

Prior to arriving at the Board of Child Care, Spagnola spent 12 years as President of York Children’s Home, in York County, Pa. The nonprofit provides comprehensive, accredited, community-based services to stabilize and strengthen children and families in need. During her time as President she grew the annual budget from $3 million to over $10 million and oversaw a tremendous growth in staff, which now number more than 135 individuals serving over 2,000 children annually.

“The Board of Child Care is a solid, very well-run operation,” Spagnola said. “I look forward to taking this foundation and providing more services for those who need our help. We are well poised to expand our leadership role in the field of child welfare by ensuring that children, families, and their communities facing challenging circumstances have a chance to heal and ultimately lead healthy, productive lives.”

A York, Pa., resident, Spagnola graduated from Millersville University with a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in Spanish. She holds both a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University and a certificate in executive leadership from Michigan University. Spagnola is active in the community and has invested her time volunteering for numerous charitable boards. She is currently completing terms on the boards of the Alliance for Children and Families, York Hospital and the regional board of Susquehanna Bank.

About the Board of Child Care

The Board of Child Care has a long history of serving children and families in the community as an outreach ministry within the Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware Conferences of the United Methodist Church (UMC). The agency began as three orphanages that opened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and then merged in 1960 to become the Board of Child Care.

Today, the Board of Child Care’s $27 million annual budget provides programs that include residential care, treatment foster care, early childhood education, therapeutic counseling, adoption information and referral, and a special education school. The agency is headquartered in Baltimore but also operates facilities in West Virginia, the Eastern Shore of Maryland and in the District of Columbia. Its community-based group homes are located throughout Maryland and in Martinsburg, W.Va. To learn more, visit