Inspiring Connectedness - Part I

It is always invigorating to come away from a conversation where you discover something new, an unexpected sense of humor, a shared experience, or a wealth of knowledge. Françoise Maxie has been an integral part of Jubilee for over four years. As Jubilee’s Finance Director, Françoise can be exacting, which does not always allow for spontaneous interactions. One of the things she is especially particular about is her lunch break. She purposely takes her lunch later in the day and would rather not be disturbed as she reads her paper. However, on occasion, Françoise will look up from her paper and engage you in conversation. When this happens, you encounter a beautiful soul, whose bark is so much more than her bite. Françoise unabashedly embraces who she is and is unafraid to offer her opinion. Though she acknowledges she did not become conscious of it until her late fifties, she attributes her mother’s determination and drive to succeed right after the Second World War, a time when resources were limited or unavailable, with being a true inspiration on how she lives her life.

In 1962, Françoise moved from France to the United States for work and was married a few years later.  As a young woman new to the United States, an immigrant married to an African American man, her experiences were a steep learning curve in a different culture. Enduring these life lessons, Françoise did not come away unscathed. Her mother-in law and sisters- in- law’s fortitude and grace gave Françoise an appreciation and understanding of what their lives had been and still are to this day. They gave her the strength to raise a son who is a strong African  American man himself. Françoise recognizes the women who have shared her life and encouraged her to become who she is today both professionally and personally. Her life has been a colorful canvas of experiences, and she offers a unique perspective to the Jubilee community. Françoise is popular with our program participants who often stop at her door to chat. Though untrained as a social worker, her wisdom comes from a lifetime of learning, love, loss and a commitment to remaining true to who she is through life’s challenges. She believes it truly takes a village to sustain individual development.