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SUSAN S. CLARK


1942 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
SUSAN S. CLARK Obituary
CLARK, Susan S. Aged 72, died in Kennebunkport, ME on August 22, 2014 after a prolonged illness. Born, 1/3/1942, in Portland ME., to Harvey A. Clark and Frances Clark, she graduated from Deering High School, received an undergraduate degree from Smith College and a Masters of Education from Boston University. Susan lived in Chelsea, Massachusetts and Kennebunkport, Maine and was the Executive Director of Choice Thru Education and the Upward Bound Program in Chelsea, MA until the time of her death. She was a member of the Chelsea Kiwanis and other civic organizations. Susan will be especially remembered for her founding of Choice Thru Education in 1974, an independent non profit organization. Her vision and leadership developed the oldest and most successful Upward Bound program in the nation; which fostered a love for academic excellence and successful entry into higher education for thousands of Chelsea high school students. Through multiple collaborations with local universities and colleges, Susan created an on campus summer learning experience for countless Chelsea youth that had a lasting influence in breaking the barriers for low income youth in pursuit of a college education. Choice Thru Education, under Susan's leadership, held a vision from the 60's of breaking the cycle of poverty through education of the neediest of Chelsea's youth and she continued to bring this vision into the realities of the 21st century. Understanding the need for permanency, stability, and a place to be called "a center for learning", Susan purchased a building in Chelsea in the "70's." As increased unmet needs arose for Chelsea's youth, new programs were introduced by Susan at Choice that included English as a Second Language; GED; College Financial Aid Counseling; Academic Parenting Teen Program; and Alternative Learning for higher risk youth who had DYS and DCF involvement. Survivors include: Susan's partner John Codman, 2nd of Kennebunkport, ME; her sister Sarah Thompson of Kennebunk ME, her brother Thomas Clark of Cumberland, ME; her grandniece Meagan and her nephews Michael and David. She is also survived by Doreen Dares and Millie Vega her foster daughters; and she leaves thousands of students whose lives she positively impacted. A private service will be held at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME. In lieu of flowers, Susan's family has requested that donations be made to: Susan Clark, Ocean Communities Credit Union, PO Box 1961, Biddeford, ME 04005. All donations will go to the creation of the Susan S. Clark Higher Education Fund. Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk.

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Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 23, 2014
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