Benedictine Sisters of Erie Home Home

Mission Statement

Founded in 1988, St. Benedict Education Center (SBEC) is owned and administered by the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. SBEC provides education and job placement services to those on public assistance in order to improve the lives of families.

Wish List

  • Soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Dryer sheets
  • Toilet paper
  • Cleaning products (Pine Sol)
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby items
  • Gas cards
  • Walmart cards/store vouchers
  • Mittens/gloves/hats
  • Light bulbs
  • Flash drives

Contact Dorothy Stoner, OSB, 814-452-4072, ext 291, if you are able to provide us with any of these items.

The Mending Place

The Mending Place St. Benedict Education Center

The Mending Place
at St. Benedict Education Center
330 E. 10th Street, Room 201
Erie, PA 16503
814-452-4072 ext. 315

Open M-F 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Services offered: General Sewing, Mending, Alterations; Donations(cash/check) accepted for services rendered.

The Mending Place employs two former Nepalese students who are seamstresses. An SBEC instructor and these seamstresses utilize The Mending Place as a “Learning Lab,” teaching hands-on employability skills for retail, customer service and sewing machine operator/ seamstress positions.

This staff has brought The Mending Place full circle to not only offer the original services provided, but now teach other students their trade skills.

  • Immigrant Students

    A segment of the student population at SBEC are immigrants from an array of cultures. Immigrants come from countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Myanmar, Nepal, Somalia, Sudan.

  • A student works in the factory.

    A student works in the Factory at SBEC, a facility which simulates real working experiences. In the Factory, job-readiness is developed and refined as students learn workplace practices and employer expectations.

  • Teacher Taha works on computer skills.

    Students learn computer skills that enable them to develop resumes, to search for jobs, and to submit job applications on-line.Teacher Taha works with a student on computer skills.

  • Overcoming language barriers

    One of the biggest barriers to employment faced by immigrants is inadequate language skills. Special efforts are made to improve Englilsh fluency. Sister Audrey works one-on-one with a student.

The Programs at St. Benedict Education Center

St. Benedict Education Center provides instruction, job readiness and job search services, community service opportunities, employer contacts and job placement follow-up to approximately 675 participants a year. Intense focus is directed at moving participants into the work force in order to improve the lives of families.

Special emphasis is placed on work ethics, motivational techniques, communication skills, attitude and behavior, grooming and dress, time and stress management, problem solving techniques, resume preparation, interviewing skills and employer expectations. Participants often come with multiple challenges to successful employment. Therefore, the professional staff also assist program participants in managing issues such as transportation, child care, clothing and housing.

SBEC administers EARN (Employment Advancement Retention Network), a state-contracted program funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and operated in partnership with the Northwest Pennsylvania JobConnect. Participant referrals come from the County Assistance Office, and all participants are families.

Specialized training and support services are provided to refugees with additional emphasis on English language acquisition. Current participants come from countries such as Bhutan, Nepal, Somalia, Iraq, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic.

SBEC serves the communities of Erie, Crawford, Venango, Warren, Clarion and Forest counties.

Nancy Sabol, Executive Director

Nancy Sabol, Executive Director

Nancy worked at Gannondale, a private residential center for adolescent females, for 30 years, the last 10 as Executive Director. Recognized throughout the State of Pennsylvania as an advocate for at-risk youth, she was a board member of the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services. In December 2014 Nancy became Executive Director of St. Benedict Education Center. Her strong belief in social justice, strengthened by her ties to communities of women religious, solidified her desire to continue to serve the marginalized.

Nancy holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and she is an associate member of the American Psychological Association. She also serves as a Peer Reviewer for the Standards of Excellence for the Pennsylvania Association of Non-Profit Organizations (PANO). She is an Oblate of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie.

Meet the people of SBEC

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Damanta Khadka

Meet Damanta Khadka: Seamstress at SBEC

Meet Damanta Khadka. A native of Bhutan, Damanta and her family were exiled in 1993 and spent 19 years living as refugees in Nepal. Finally given the chance to re-settle, Damanta came to the United States. In December of 2014 she was hired as a seamstress at St. Benedict Education Center, where she works in the Mending Place.

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Gary Horton, executive director of the E.F. Smith Quality of Life Learning Center

E.F. Smith Quality of Life Learning Center

For more than 10 years, E.F. Smith Quality of Life Learning Center has partnered with SBEC to improve the literacy and employment prospects of those living in the Erie community. Quality of Life offers GED preparation for those needing a high school diploma and is a certified ESL (English as a Second Language) center.

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Dolores Mosakowski, SBEC volunteer

Dolores Mosakowski

Dolores Mosakowski was recruited by a fellow volunteer to the team at Treasures and Such but it is Sister Dorothy Stoner, worksite coordinator at SBEC, who keeps her coming back each week. “She is so kind and generous with people and is always willing to try new things” is the way Dolores describes Sister. Dolores was immediately impressed with how responsive the staff at SBEC is to those it serves.

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