Meet Local Mom Patricia O’Callaghan! Attorney, volunteer, activist, mentor – this mom is a prime example of female strength and fortitude. Currently, she is campaigning to be the first female Town Justice in Harrison! You GO Patricia …
Tell us a little bit about yourself ?
I was born and raised in Mamaroneck, Larchmont and Harrison. I am the oldest girl in a family of 9 children and went to Holy Child High School. I majored in government at Sweet Briar College and was always interested in politics, working for a U.S. Senator when I was just 16! I received my masters in criminal justice and my law degree both while working full time and taking care of my 2 young children.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
People are surprised that I can play almost any sport. I learned them all trying to keep up with my 5 brothers!
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
I learned compassion and kindness from my mother and discipline from my father. I don’t know how my mom always kept her cool having 9 children, but she did. Since I was a single mom for 12 years, I had to balance being the disciplinarian and the warm arms to run to.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
My favorite thing to do with my son and daughter after a full week of work and school was to just sit by the fire and color or play games. Our lives were so busy that we loved whatever quiet time we could grab sitting around the booth in our kitchen. I remember my daughter saying mom please stop cleaning and just sit …
My life was changed when the unimaginable happened and my daughter Katie was killed in a tragic accident while crossing the street on her college campus. For me, giving back to the community and helping others is how I am able to heal after the loss of my child and more recently of my husband. I have chosen to devote my personal and professional time to projects that require genuine compassion. I like to try to be a positive force in any community of which I am a part.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization or a creative endeavor?
I was a county attorney for many years prosecuting child abuse and neglect, terminating parental rights, prosecuting juvenile delinquency matters and working on child support enforcement. I have always focused on volunteer work and have been on the board of My Sisters’ Place, the Rye Zoning Board of Appeals, the Westchester Institute for Human Development. I’ve been a volunteer facilitator for the Westchester Bereavement Center, The Harrison Holiday Project, a mentor for Her Honor Mentoring program and I’ve taught CCD. Right now, I am stepping up and running to be the first female Town Justice in Harrison.
For me working and keeping busy has been a life saver. I find that it helps to spark your curiosity, keeps you interested in people, work and friends. I really try to listen to people and what they have to say. I always ask people I meet at least 2 questions about themselves and always connect and learn from them. We all can connect on some level – as parents, women, lawyers, professionals, athletes – there is always a thread, a tie that binds.
6. How has this community been instrumental in getting your business to where it is now?
The town of Harrison is so supportive! Hundreds of young moms, local businesses and community members have volunteered to help our campaign. So many local associations have recently endorsed my candidacy for Harrison Town Justice. The Westchester County Correction Superior Officers Association, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety Police Benevolent Association, Inc. and the Affiliated Police Association have all supported me.
Any time saving tips when it comes to parenthood?
Stay positive and present for each person and situation in your life! It is a time saver, mood booster, good for your brain and the health of your family.
Keeping busy and interested in life when the worst happens and just keep putting one foot in front of the other – keep growing and moving. Each day I am working tirelessly on my campaign for Harrison Town Justice. I don’t know if I will persevere, but I have the drive and I show up. That’s a winning combination – passion, perseverance and kindness.