The Next Chapter
Written by Laura Lajewski, Executive Director
Last year, COMPASS celebrated its 45th anniversary! It was a great time to reflect on our history and the different chapters in COMPASS’ story. Starting as the Community Advancement Program (CAP Special Education), to Boston Basics, to Community Providers of Adolescent Services (COMPASS), our programs and services have evolved in response to the changing needs of our clients. I have enjoyed listening to the stories told by those of COMPASS’ past and present and learning more about the details of our history. Each chapter is unique and makes COMPASS the great organization that it is today.
As I think about the next chapter in COMPASS’ story, I think about our 2 core programs: Community Services and the COMPASS School. Both programs have grown substantially in the recent years as we have expanded our reach to more areas in Massachusetts, working with a greater number of students, individuals and families. As an organization, we speak positively about this growth, as we should. With this said, when the days get busy and the weeks fly by, I remember to take a step back to focus on COMPASS’ mission and why we exist. I believe that the organization has grown because the need for our services has grown as well. There are more students across the state that need a smaller, therapeutic setting to be successful in school. There are more individuals and families who are in crisis, requiring extra support to move forward with their lives.
It can be daunting to think about the issues and crises that our staff work through each day but at the same time, it is encouraging to know that we are helping those in need. It is my hope that we continue to grow with the changing needs of society. This could mean working with a student from a new school district, a family from a different area or simply learning, changing and growing with the times.
Last year, we asked our leaders at COMPASS to define success. What does success look like in your program? Along with asking this question, we started a process of logic modeling and assessment with the goal of evaluating our outcomes and defining our success. I hear the great stories each day about the lessons our students learn, the obstacles our families overcome and more. I know that we have great outcomes and I want the world to know as well. We will continue our evaluation process as it is ongoing and a significant piece to COMPASS’ next chapter. We will collect and analyze data, be critical, ask challenging questions, and do everything possible to ensure that we give 100% each and every day.
None of this would be possible without our amazing, diverse staff. It is my goal to continue to support our staff through the daily situations they face as well as in the bigger, professional picture. I value teaching, learning and knowledge and hope to cultivate a setting where everyone grows in some way. I don’t want COMPASS to be seen as just a job, where people have to work every day. I want COMPASS to be seen as a place where people get to work each day, to use their talents, build their skills, and make a difference.
I am proud to be a part of this organization and a part of COMPASS’ story. I am excited to be leading us into the next chapter, turning the page from all the great chapters before.