Alum Raises Funds after Tragic Case – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Alum Raises Funds after Tragic Case

Last August, William Smith alum Kerry Sullivan ’05 served as a juror on a first degree murder case. 

“We heard the horrific story of how a mother of four young children was brutally murdered by her boyfriend,” Sullivan says.  “The trial was heart-wrenching, to say the least.  One of the children testified about how he remembered Jose pushing his mommy under the table, and how the table then collapsed on top of her.  It was just devastating.” 

Following the trial, the children of the victim were to be placed in foster care and possibly separated, but, as Sullivan says, “somehow, out of such chaos, a miracle happened.”

One of the children’s godmothers discovered that the children were going to be split up, and, Sullivan recalls, “despite having raised two children of her own, and still having a young son at home, this woman, Maria Dickerson, stepped up and said, ‘these kids must be kept together.  Give them to me.’ Since then, a little over a year ago, she has been the mother to five little ones.”

In the wake of the verdict and the conclusion of the trial, Sullivan and the other jurors have created a donation site to help the children of the victim.

“Several other jurors have sent out e-mails to raise money for Maria and the children the past couple months and I felt like now it was my turn,” Sullivan says. “One of the jurors created a Web site, where you can read several Boston Globe articles about the trial and about Maria and the children.” 

Donations can be made on the site through PayPal accounts or by credit card. Checks can be made out to Maria Dickerson and mailed to Kerry Sullivan, 1 Salem Street #2A, Charlestown, MA 02129.

All money raised will be sent to Dickerson on Monday, Feb. 15. 

While studying at HWS, Sullivan created an individual major called Children in Society, combining education, sociology, psychology and religion.  After graduation, Sullivan worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Washington, D.C., before moving to Boston, where she is working with Children’s Hospital Boston.  She is currently working at one of the hospital’s outpatient clinics in Boston and plans to take graduate classes this fall to become a Child Life Specialist.