Mahria, a resident of New Hope, graduated this spring with a master’s degree in social work from Bryn Mawr College. Her studies centered on macro-level social work, which focuses on the analysis, development and implementation of public policy supporting individuals served by social work, in this case the Center’s consumers.
“I like systems,” said the married mother of four. “There’s no other agency I’m aware of that touches as many systems as the Center for Independent Living.”
Board President Frank Keating said Mahria had interned at the Center two summers ago. When outgoing executive director Josh Pittinger resigned, he recommended Mahria for the job.
Keating and the rest of the organization have known Mahria for many more years through her involvement with the disabled community. She is the daughter of Anne Mauro, who helped to start, and has run Handicapped Crusaders since 1966.
“Mahria is very familiar with Bucks County. She’s lived here all her life,” Keating said. “More than anything else, we know her.”
Through her mother, Mahria literally grew up serving people with disabilities. Mahria said she will use her background, education and passion for helping the disabled community guide her role at the Center.
Recently, the Center added a program coordinator, as well as an independent living specialist with expertise in ADA programs. Mahria hopes to bridge the center’s mainly a la carte services to program-based services, while incorporating adaptive technology to ensure that services are not duplicated.
“At first you don’t succeed,” she said. “Sometimes our systems aren’t equipped to let people try, try again.”
PHOTO CAP: Mahria Morris