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April 24: Michele Ridge
Michele Ridge Position: Chair, Vision of Hope Advisory Council Hometown: Erie, PA Family: Husband, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, and two children, Lesley and Tommy Education: Seton Hill College , University of Pittsburgh (masters in library science)
During her tenure as First Lady of Pennsylvania, Michele M. Ridge focused on crime prevention, victims' rights, and the prevention of violence by and against youth. Through her leadership as chair of the Governor's Community Partnership for Safe Children (Children's Partnership), the Communities That Care® prevention planning system was implemented as the process by which the Children's Partnership assists communities in their efforts to prevent youth violence.
Under her leadership, Communities That Care® operated in 128 sites in 58 counties across Pennsylvania. The Communities That Care® planning system helps communities curb youth violence by reducing child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, academic failure, illiteracy, and other risk factors that make children more likely to commit crime.
Mrs. Ridge's leadership in both implementing the Communities That Care® planning system and stressing the importance of using scientifically proven prevention programs has gained her numerous awards, including the Society for Prevention Research 2001 Public Service Award (along with then-governor Tom Ridge). Mrs. Ridge continues to serve the Children's Partnership as a member.
In February 2002, Mrs. Ridge joined the Channing Bete Company as the national spokesperson for Communities That Care®-a prevention planning system that gives communities a foundation for improving children's lives, which is currently being used in more than 400 communities across the nation. She held that position until April 2005.
Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1947, Mrs. Ridge is the oldest child of the late Army Major Howard Moore and the late Margaret Nagle Moore. On account of her father's military career, Mrs. Ridge, her brother William, and her sister Maureen lived throughout the country and abroad. She returned to Erie in her junior year of high school, graduating from Strong Vincent High School in 1965. She received her bachelor's degree in European history from Seton Hill College in 1969, and earned her master's degree in library science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971.
Well respected in the field of library science and literacy, Mrs. Ridge was director of the Erie County Library System in northwestern Pennsylvania for nearly sixteen years, managing a central library and six branches.
Mrs. Ridge and her husband, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, have two children, Lesley and Tommy.