Women2Women - Winter 2018 - 6


Community & Business Profiles, Insights & Highlights

Mission Possible!

Meet Robin Ball...
a Woman "Called" to Action
To Help Women Needing a Second Chance
By Elaine McDevitt

here is a new resource in our area for women re-entering
society after spending time in prison for non-violent crimes.
This resource provides a home, life skills, job training and
general support for those fortunate enough to be accepted into
the program. It gives these women a significantly higher chance
of not returning to prison; of living the fulfilling life they really
want, but for one reason or the other, might not be able to
achieve on their own.

position in research at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, where
she was the Principle Clinical Data Scientist. During those ten
years, she focused on oncology, hematology, and anti-bacterial
research. She was also a recipient of a Clinical Excellence Award
for success in leadership and management. Now in her late 50s,
Robin was feeling a pull toward something more spiritual. She
entered into a Master's Program in Pastoral Counseling/Care at
Neumann University.

This resource came by way of a "calling" to a woman who heard
the message and acted on it immediately. With the support of her
husband of 43 years, Rich, her sons and their families, and hundreds of volunteers, Clare of Assisi House, 325 South 12th Street,
Reading, opened its doors in June. Clare of Assisi House's mission
is to provide an environment which encourages and supports each
resident in her attempts toward self-sufficiency and independent
living in our community.

Robin's retired from GlaxoSmithKline in pursuit of an internship
at Family Guidance Counseling Center, Reading, working with a
diverse population. During this time, she watched a YouTube video
in her Ethics class called "Prisons: Our New Asylums." She was so
moved by it; she decided then and there to get involved with prison
ministry. She applied to Berks County Prison and became a religious
volunteer providing spiritual direction to female inmates and bible
study for men.

The woman? Robin Ball. She began her remarkable professional
journey as a dental assistant working at the Medical College of
Pennsylvania. At that time, she and her husband were raising two
small boys and she had also started her own thirty-one-year recovery
in the family disease of alcohol by joining Al-Anon. Robin observed
more and more women in the medical field working as doctors and
dentists, and it inspired her to return to school and she became a
registered nurse.

Then IT happened; the calling that very quickly sent Robin on
a new career path as Founder and Executive Director of Clare of
Assisi House. "For me it was an awakening; an internal 'knowing,'"
Robin described. "I was sitting with an inmate that day, talking,
and it hit me that there was a big relapse and re-incarceration
issue. I couldn't understand why anyone would do anything
that would force them back into this forsaken place! But then I
realized: without support, what choice did these women have?
Right then I said out loud, 'We need a Mission!' I knew I was
using the wrong word, but I left the prison that day with a strong
inner conviction: I was being called to start a transitional home
for previously incarcerated women."

After working bedside at Phoenixville Hospital for several
years, Robin changed focus and received certification as a clinical research associate from Villanova University. This led to a
6 Women2Women Winter 2018


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Winter 2018

Women2Women - Winter 2018 - 1
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