The Vital Role of Immigrants in Ohio

FeaturedThe Vital Role of Immigrants in Ohio

A new report, Our Pathway to a Brighter Future: Ohio’s New Americans, has revealed evidence that immigrants play a crucial role in Ohio’s economy and that further investments in services for immigrants would expand positive outcomes. The report is the result of the collaboration from SC Ministry Foundation and several Ohio funders, which sought to understand Ohio’s underserved immigrant populations and their contributions to our communities.

“Immigrants and their children represent the majority of projected labor-force growth in the United States over the next four decades,” said Richey Piiparinen, director of The Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University and the report’s author. “By making investments in supportive services here in Ohio, particularly for our newest immigrants, we can expedite their ability to positively contribute to Ohio’s economy.”

While many of Ohio’s immigrants have achieved conventional markers of success, including rates of educational attainment 15.4 percentage points higher than native-born Ohioans (42.1 percent of Ohio’s immigrants hold a four-year degree or higher compared to 26.7 percent of native-born Ohioans), immigrants have higher poverty rates than the native-born population (18.7 percent to 14.4 percent). This reality is a function of the time it takes to acclimate to a new country and its customs, and can be lessened with improved access to three types of services:

  • adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services and Spanish GED services throughout the state;
  • legal services that are affordable and available regardless of legal status;
  • a full-range of healthcare services that are available regardless of legal status and that address physical, mental, and oral health.

Supporting immigrants creates benefits for native-born Ohioans. Immigrants are more likely to fill physically demanding and emotionally draining jobs in high-demand fields such as home health care, catapulting native-born Ohioans into more skilled labor. As Ohio’s population ages, immigrants will play an important role in filling jobs for the estimated 1.1 million personal and home health care providers needed in the United States by 2026.

Additional findings in the report include:

  • Ohio’s immigrants have higher rates of family formation than native-born Ohio households, with 62.2 percent of immigrant households comprised of married couples with children compared to 56.4 percent of native-born.
  • While Ohio’s population growth is almost stagnant, growing at only 0.15 percent since 1998, immigrants help to stabilize Ohio’s population and are a source of growth.
  • Still, only 4.4 percent of Ohio’s population is composed of immigrants compared to 13.6 percent of the U.S. population. This is the largest divide between Ohio and the nation in modern history, and ranks Ohio in the bottom five nationally.

“Ohio’s immigrants drive cultural, economic, and social dynamism,” Piiparinen said. “By improving language, legal, and healthcare services, we can help immigrants contribute to Ohio’s economy and our communities more quickly. We must begin to imagine immigrant support services as a launchpad, not a safety net.”

Click to download the full report.

About the report

Our Pathway to a Brighter Future: Ohio’s New Americans is the result of a collaboration of funders coordinated through Philanthropy Ohio. It was funded through the generous support of The George Gund Foundation, The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, Needmor Fund, Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, Open Society Foundations and SC Ministry Foundation.


Grants Awarded to 28 Nonprofits

SC Ministry Foundation conducts semi-annual responsive grant cycles for funding requests from qualified nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations which align with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati mission.

In June the SC Ministry Foundation Board of Directors approved fifteen responsive grants for:

Catholic Charities and Community Services of the Archdiocese of Denver, Denver, COto provide indigent and low-income immigrants in the Archdiocese of Denver legal advice and application assistance, deportation defense, including immigration education and parish outreach.

Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO – to provide immigrant families living at or below the poverty level services designed to help families successfully move out of crisis, build resiliency, and achieve stability.

Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, Cincinnati, OH – to serve and educate low-wage and immigrant workers and advocate against wage theft and unpaid wages to achieve positive systemic change.

Elder High School, Cincinnati, OH – to provide technological, educational, and community outreach programs within the Price Hill community through the tech-reach program.

FutureChurch, Lakewood, OH –  to support their Catholic Women Preach initiative to increase engagement of younger Catholics in Church life and leadership.

Holy Family School, Cincinnati, OH – to support the social worker program that contributes to the spiritual, social, intellectual, and physical development of each child.

Ohio Interfaith Power & Light, Columbus, OH – to expand energy stewardship activities for houses of worship and other faith-based nonprofits.

Ohioans to Stop Executions, Columbus, OH – to educate and raise awareness about the flaws in Ohio’s capital punishment and criminal justice system.

St. Joseph Orphanage, Cincinnati, OH – to support behavioral therapy training to support children and adults who struggle with mental health and behavioral concerns.

St. Lawrence School, Cincinnati, OH – to support the counselor/social worker program which supports the spiritual, academic and personal development of a diverse community of students.

St. William School, Cincinnati, OH – to support the social worker program to help students overcome barriers to their education which include their health, safety, socio-economic needs and concerns.

SBP (formerly St. Bernard Project), New Orleans, LA – to  support rebuilding homes in South Louisiana.

Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH – to support building better lives for people with disabilities that are filled with relationships, purpose, and meaningful contributions.

US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, Wayne, PA – to support education and advocacy in an effort to eradicate modern-day slavery.

Working in Neighborhoods, Cincinnati, OH – to support the net-zero energy housing development in South Cumminsville for low and moderate-income residents.

Also approved were thirteen director’s responsive grants awarded to organizations in Rome, Italy, Washington DC, Maryland, Colorado, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania that will advance our mission nationally and globally.

The semi-annual responsive grants represent one type of grant program provided by SC Ministry Foundation. In addition, the Foundation provides grants for sponsored ministries of the Sisters of Charity, capacity building grants, and discretionary grants. In 2014, the Sister Elise Grant was introduced as a small grant fund for programs where a small amount of money can make a big difference.

For more information, see:

Funding priorities

Responsive grant process

Sister Elise Grant

SC Ministry Foundation President and Executive Director Sister Sally Duffy to Retire

For Immediate Release  |  July 13, 2017

Delhi Township, Ohio –The SC Ministry Foundation has announced the retirement of Sister Sally Duffy, SC as president and executive director of the SC Ministry Foundation. With this announcement, Sister Sally shared, “I remain deeply grateful for the call to servant leadership at the SC Ministry Foundation. Thank you to all the organizations who have partnered with the Foundation in sharing the Sisters of Charity mission to act justly and to share their resources with those in need.”

The SC Ministry Foundation is a public grant-making organization that promotes the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Sister Joan Elizabeth Cook, SC, president of the Sisters of Charity congregation stated: “We thank Sister Sally for her sixteen years of leadership and the positive impact she has had on the many groups, near and far, that have benefitted from the Foundation.”

Sister Sally Duffy_7867

The SC Ministry Foundation is dedicated to many social justice issues such as the revitalization of the Price Hill neighborhoods in Cincinnati, comprehensive immigration reform, and access to affordable, quality health care. Sister Sally has earned numerous recognitions including: the St. Katherine Drexel Award from Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA) for exemplary and outstanding contributions to philanthropy on behalf of the Church and the common good; recognition by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) for service to women religious in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina; recipient of the Gabriel Award as co-executive producer of the documentary, “We Shall Not Be Moved: Catholic Sisters of New Orleans;” the Catholic philanthropy Charles Carroll Award for her love for the poor and her passion for social justice; the Doctor of Humane Letters from Mount St. Joseph University; and the Career Woman of Achievement by the Greater Cincinnati YWCA.

“Sister Sally has been an invaluable asset to the success of the Foundation and has served as an important counselor to many Foundation grantees, community partners and to the board,” shared Denise Kuprionis, chair of the SC Ministry Foundation Board of Directors. “We are grateful for her dedicated years of service to the SC Ministry Foundation and wish many blessings for her future.”

During this time of transition, the vice-chair of the Foundation’s board will assume the management of operations, and Foundation staff members will continue in their current roles.

About the SC Ministry Foundation: Since 1996, SC Ministry Foundation has been promoting the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati as a public grant-making organization that supports direct service, advocacy and systemic change. Through their commitment to living Gospel values, the Foundation strives to reduce poverty and injustice, maximize human potential and build healthy communities through regional, national and international partnerships and collaborative initiatives.

For more information, contact: Amelia Riedel, Director of Communications and Program Officer at (513) 347-1086 or

Thank You for Your Service, Michael McGraw

Thank You for Your Service, Michael McGraw

mike-mcgraw-dec-2013-2_400pSC Ministry Foundation is grateful to Michael McGraw, who has promoted the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati through his leadership as board chairperson for the past three years during his term of dedicated service with the SC Ministry Foundation Board and committees for the past nine years.

The staff of SC Ministry Foundation would like to thank all members of our board and board committees for their ministry as stewards of our mission.

Recognizing 25 Years of Service

Recognizing 25 Years of Service

marybeth_400pSC Ministry Foundation extends deep appreciation for Marybeth Schroer who dedicated 25 combined years of service with the SC Ministry Foundation and the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.

Pictured below: In honor of her service, Marybeth received a proclamation from the Ohio House of Representatives from Denise Driehaus (right), Ohio Representative and SC Ministry Foundation board committee member.


Heckmann Joins Foundation

Michael Heckmannmichael-photo joined the team of the SC Ministry Foundation in May to serve as the Grants Administrator and IT Coordinator. Among Michael’s responsibilities are administrating the grants management database and completing data analysis, while also utilizing his technical expertise to support various foundation operations, including communications and educational programming. Michael’s transition to the foundation team occurred in response to the retirement of long-time employee, Marybeth Schroer.

Michael has always felt drawn to the nonprofit sector. During his six years of nonprofit experience, he developed strong skills in database management and analysis, web-based technology, communications, marketing, and community outreach.

Michael is a Cincinnati native and a 2011 graduate of Mount St. Joseph University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in both psychology and religious studies. While studying at the Mount, Michael served the SC Ministry Foundation as the Communications and Development Co-op. “The year of experience and the values of the Sisters of Charity that I gained from working at the foundation have directly influenced my professional life,” Michael shared. “These values of faith, advocacy, and communal impact have become part of who I am as an individual.”

Since graduating from the Mount, Michael kept himself immersed in places that shared his spiritual values and furthered his professional growth: serving as a project manager with Starfire Council, a student ministry producer with Crossroads Church, and beginning studies toward a Master of Divinity through Cincinnati Christian University.

Michael’s talents and past experiences have made him an excellent addition to the foundation’s team. “I have enjoyed seeing how everything has progressed since my co-op six years ago,” Michael shared. “Now I can continue to help it grow.”

In addition to his new role with the foundation, Michael and his wife Greta are also enjoying their new roles as parents of their newborn daughter, Joelle. When asked how fatherhood has affected him, Michael revealed, “It’s impossible to put into words. Parenthood is the craziest thing, but in a good way.”