When you’re young, you believe that when you get older, you will have to make a choice between one path or another. The truth is, the journey of life is comprised of a multitude of paths with infinite outcomes. I, for instance, have had my fair share of struggles throughout my life, but am ultimately grateful for the wisdom I gained walking those difficult paths that currently guides me through the path I am on.
The COMPASS Corner blog is an opportunity for COMPASS staff to share their knowledge and experience about a variety of topics in the special education and human services fields. Posts will be about an area staff are an expert in, what motivates them to do this work, a success story from a student/client, etc.
February 1st, 2019 marked the first day of my 37th year at COMPASS! As I wrote this post, I quickly realized it would be impossible to express the impact COMPASS has had on my life in 500 words or less. So instead I chose five words that encompass the many highs and lows that I, along with my co-workers and students, have experienced over this time.
In September 2017, the COMPASS School saw an exciting new addition: a brand new Sensory Room. Occupational Therapist (OT), Kelly Laurendi, designed the Sensory Room to be a safe and sensory-supportive environment for students to explore and practice self-regulation strategies. Kelly specializes in social and emotional learning, sensory processing, task analysis, assistive technology, and activity and environmental modifications.
My director, Margy Nicholson, asked me a year and a half ago to attend a meeting in Lowell, a task force to fight the commercial sexual exploitation of children. After the first meeting, I realized that I needed to take part in something to help educate people and help children who are caught up in this horrible circle.
Growing up in Dorchester, John J. Lydon knows what it means to be immersed in a tight-knit community. For the past 43 years, he has “moved up the ranks” at COMPASS (known as the Community Action Program in the 1970s), starting as a Caseworker in 1975 to becoming the Executive Director in 2004.