Mary Elizabeth Stokes

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Mary Elizabeth Stokes

Class of 1984

Year Inducted 2013

Beth Stokes attended Highland Park Elementary and Drexel Hill Middle School. Beth grew up in a family of five children all of whom are UDHS graduates. Three siblings married UD graduates also thus holiday gatherings are mini UD reunions.  At UDHS, Beth earned seven varsity letters in lacrosse, basketball and field hockey. Junior year her field hockey team lost the state championship in overtime to Haverford High! Beth went to Penn State on a full athletic scholarship as a dual athlete in field hockey and lacrosse. At Penn State, Beth ultimately helped lead her team to a national lacrosse championship in 1987, where she was named outstanding player of the game. She also went to the Final Four twice in field hockey. At Penn State,  Beth majored in social welfare and despite the time commitment required of Division 1 athletics, she became active on campus for the rights of women and in her junior year led the Center for Women’s Concerns. These experiences led her to become a lifelong advocate for the most vulnerable people in our society. She was a case worker for juveniles in an in patient psychiatric facility then opened a dance club which failed. Resolving to rededicate herself to helping others, Beth moved to San Francisco, got a Master’s in Social Welfare while taking a job working with the homeless in the city. Beth’s efforts to address poverty and homelessness led her to Hamilton Family Center as Executive Director. Beth led a team to transform the organization into a national leader in innovative practices to serve homeless families. In 2010 Beth moved to Los Angeles to become the director of programs with the LA Homeless Services Authority. Today she directs the homeless programs unit for one of the largest non-profit organizations in the country, Volunteers of America.