COMPASS Celebrates 50 Years
A message from Laura Lajewski, Executive Director
I am honored to announce that COMPASS is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!
It all started in 1974 when the Community Advancement Program (CAP Special Education) was formed. CAP’s program included outreach and tracking, and foster care for DYS-involved youth. First located at 14 Beacon Street in Boston, CAP then established “storefronts” in South Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury, and Charlestown, mostly within Boys and Girls Clubs.
Since 1974, our programs and services have evolved in nature and location in response to the changing needs of our community. Throughout the past five decades, we have established ourselves as one of Massachusetts’ leading providers of special education and human services for youth and families in need. Our mission has not wavered: to equip those it serves with the skills to be self-sufficient, productive members of their communities and society.
As we reflect on the past, focus on the present, and look forward to the future, we are grateful for everyone who has been a part of our journey.
To our employees past and present, we say “Thank you!” We are grateful for your dedication and commitment to our youth and families. I am proud to work alongside such a strong team of highly motivated and talented individuals, many of whom have spent the majority of their careers with us.
To our donors and partners, we say “Thank you!” We appreciate the collaboration and support you have provided as it takes a village to continue the great work that we do.
To our board members past and present, we say “Thank you!” We realize that there have been good times and bad times, high times and low times. Thank you for guiding us through all these times.
On a personal note, to our two most recent Executive Directors, Dave Manzo and John Lydon, I say “Thank you!” Thank you for seeing something in me 14 years ago when I started working at COMPASS. Thank you for your support along the way and for guiding me to be the leader of such a great organization.
And finally, to the youth and families that we serve, we say “Thank you!” Thank you for allowing us to work with you. Thank you for opening up to us, laughing and crying with us, and learning with us. We hope that we have touched each and every one of you in some way, big or small, and I can attest that you have certainly touched ours. It is our hope that we have made a positive difference in your lives.
This year is a year to celebrate. To commemorate this important milestone, we have planned a series of events and initiatives.
- 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala: A wonderful evening of celebration including guest speakers, music, dancing, and a chance to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, celebrating everyone who has been a part of COMPASS.
- Celebration Days: Throughout the year, we will celebrate with our staff, students, youth, and families at our various locations.
- Social Media Engagements: Stay tuned to COMPASS on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn as we share memories, stories, and more.
Whether you have been involved before or would like to be involved moving forward, now is the time.
- Share Your Story: We would love to hear from you or your organization, sharing your stories and memories about COMPASS. Share them on our social media platforms using the hashtag #50YearsCOMPASSStrong.
- Partner: Join us throughout the year on various projects and initiatives. Your time and dedication will help us continue making a positive impact on the lives of our youth and families.
- Stay Connected: Make sure to stay connected with COMPASS through our social media channels and look for updates on events and opportunities to get involved.
Thank you again to everyone who has been a part of the COMPASS journey. Cheers to 50 years!