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Honoring the passion, dedication and action of 6 remarkable
South Jersey women

Photography by David Michael Howarth
Shot on location at Collingswood Ballroom

Marguerite Schroeder, Trustee, Caron Treatment Centers

 

Lifetime Legacy

Marguerite Schroeder

Trustee, Caron Treatment Centers

On the surface, it seemed Marguerite Schroeder was spending her adult life making all the right moves – nurturing her marriage, raising step-children and building a successful career. But after ending up in the hospital for alcohol intoxication in her mid-20s, reality set in and Marguerite realized this was a wake up call. She quit drinking and began to live a sober life.

Then one night in 2008 – 30 years after she stopped drinking – Marguerite ordered a glass of wine. She can’t really say why she had that drink, but she spent the next 2 years in a haze of drunkenness. She nearly died before she was finally ready to deal with buried pain stemming from growing up with an alcoholic, abusive parent. She knows now that her quest to put others’ needs before her own was a reaction to that early trauma.

“The long and short of it is I squashed my own voice,” says Marguerite, a member of the board of trustees for Caron Treatment Centers, a drug and alcohol treatment organization with multiple locations. “That’s what codependency does. You live and manage everyone else’s life and squash your own dreams.”

It wasn’t until Marguerite became a patient at Caron that she realized how a lifetime of stifling her own ambitions led to her self-destructive action. She considers herself living proof of how vital it is for women to prioritize their own wellbeing. “I did not realize that until I was in my late 50s, getting sober and in group therapy,” says Marguerite, who works as a field representative with the New Jersey Education Association.

“I was telling some of my childhood stories and everyone in the room was crying. It took that to realize I went through some of the most egregious physical and emotional abuse. And it was just buried. And so for the 30 years I was not drinking, I was also not addressing any of those issues.”

Now 72 and living in Marlton, Marguerite has been sober for 13 years. In that time, she has risen to be the first woman to chair Caron’s Greater Philadelphia Advisory Board. Every month she spends a long weekend at a treatment center coaching women – often professionals that remind her of herself. She helps the women figure out how to prioritize themselves. In her own life, that has meant training to be a yoga teacher and immersing herself in mindfulness practices.

“I nearly lost my life, and now I realize it was a gift to move through this crisis,” she says. “I love my life.”


Styling by Sarah Gleeson

Makeup by Vanessa Lopez for Jaylyn Thompson, Brielle Savage & Suzan Nickelson; by Melisa Ortiz/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Zeynep Yuderi & Marguerite Schroeder; by Jessica Palumbo/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Ivette Guillermo-McGahee

Hair by Ashley Voit/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Brielle Savage & Jaylyn Thompson; by Mackenzie Garland for Zeynep Yuderi; by Debra Beach/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Ivette Guillermo-McGahee; by Tiffany D’Argenzio/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Marguerite Schroeder


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May 2023
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