Molly Bish Center


The Molly Bish Center at Anna Maria College was established in 2004 through a collaboration with John and Magi Bish, parents of Molly Bish, a sixteen year-old Warren resident, who was abducted from her lifeguard post in 2000. The agonizing search for Molly came to an end in 2003 when her remains were found in Palmer, MA, only five miles from her home and from where she was abducted. Working as a lifeguard, Molly took responsibility for the safety and protection of others. In her memory, the Center was established with a mission to comprehensively increase community awareness, maintain an inclusive resource directory, and provide a diverse portfolio of training opportunities to a wide network of health and safety professionals designed to advance the protection of the most vulnerable groups in our society—children and the elderly.


 

The focused mission of the Molly Bish Center is to strengthen prevention, increase awareness, and expand participation, at all levels of the community, and to enhance response capacity to meet a broad range of needs for children and the elderly. The Center offers an exceptional opportunity for specialized training, innovative research, and advanced education for complex societal concerns that unfortunately are not recognized as a priority. The Center presents a setting for law enforcement, educators, social workers, and health and human service professionals to share ideas, develop and disseminate best practice models, and receive instructional training. In addition to training opportunities for professionals, the Center provides education and outreach programs for parents, children, and community members. The Center's program development is guided by an accomplished Advisory Committee drawn from various Anna Maria College academic disciplines and applies the experience and talent of faculty, staff, and students in the fields of social work, nursing, emergency management, criminal justice, education, justice administration, and fire science. In creating training programs, the Center also works in collaboration with numerous external agencies and subject matter experts, including the District Attorney's Office, Massachusetts State Police, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Retired Private Investigators Association and human services organizations such as the YMCA, YWCA, and senior centers.

Since its inception in 2004, the Center has directly impacted nearly 15,000 Massachusetts residents and hundreds of organizations and agencies through training events and symposia, community-based child identification programs, and school-based safety and prevention initiatives. The Molly Bish Center continues to provide access to training space, support for marketed efforts to expand target audiences, and sponsors efforts to raise community awareness on a wide variety of emerging health and safety topics.