Drug abuse prevention advocate Frances Maturo retires

(l-r) Councilman Vacca, Frances Maturo and Michael Rivadeneyra, Councilman Vacca’s chief of staff at presentation of a proclaimation to Maturo at her retirement party on Friday, December 4.
Photo courtesy of Councilman Vacca’s office

Frances Maturo, the Archdiocese of New York Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention program’s executive director Frances Maturo, will end a 36 year career with the organization.

Maturo started her ADAPP career working at several local high schools before her job blossomed.

During her tenure at ADAPP, Maturo was the first chairwoman of the Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership, a coalition of local elected officials and community partners that seek to curb substance abuse and engage youth in the east Bronx community.

“One of my main goals in life was to work with youth, and I certainly have reachedthat goal,” she said. “As a Bronx resident, working in the community where I grew up was a terrific opportunity.”

A graduate of Fordham University, she began with ADAPP as a youth counselor at several east Bronx high schools: St. Helena, Preston, Monsignor Scanlan High School, and St. Raymond’s High School for Girls. She herself is a graduate of Preston High School.

One of the highlights of her career, said Maturo, was when she branched out from a school setting and worked in the community to prevent teen drug abuse with the formation of TNCAP, which seeks to engage the community in a common cause.

She cited the Throggs Neck community’s high degree of volunteerism on the part of individuals as one of TNCAP’s keys to success.

“What I am most proud of and most proud of with my staff is harnessing that (spirit of volunteerism) to make our community a better place to raise children,” she said. “We put together our knowledge of substance abuse with volunteers and started this.”

During her time at ADAPP, she was given the opportunity not just to be in a place where she wanted to work, but a place where she could grow professionally and as a person.

She is especially proud of her two grown children: Lynn Calta and Lauren Calta, she said.

Maturo, who grew up near Eastchester Road and Pelham Parkway, said she plans on continuing her work as a part-time professor at Lehman College’s Continuing Education Program.

Councilman James Vacca had words of praise for Maturo’s work, and presented her with a proclamation at her retirement party held in her honor in Throggs Neck on Friday, December 4.

The councilman said he has known Maturo since 1980, and said she has been in a stalwart in her field.

“There are very few people that have the history that she has when it comes to fighting against drug and alcohol abuse, especially among our young people,” said Vacca, adding that Maturo has also worked to curb youth smoking and has been an advocate for meaningful legislative change.

The councilman said that Maturo also helped develop methods of engaging merchants to get their voluntary cooperation in preventing alcohol sales to minors.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

More from Around NYC