Alum works to reduce poverty and incarceration

September 25, 2017

Since graduating in May, Eastern Nazarene alum, Dan Compitiello, has been working with Roca, a nonprofit organization working to disrupt the cycle of incarceration and poverty in over 20 communities in Massachusetts.

“This work is extremely important to me. Since entering ENC, I felt called to a life of serving the most vulnerable populations on the margins of our society. Roca is doing exactly that, day in and day out,” said Compitiello.

Compitiello works managing their fundraising database and handling all donor communications. He also works with the organizations communications as well, handling the website, social media channels, and creating their quarterly newsletter. In addition, Compitiello also supports Roca’s Chief Advancement Officer, Jake Jacobs, and their Director of External Affairs, Yotam Zeira, with day to day needs.

“[Dan] has jumped right into an important role and has taken on all assignments with gusto,” said Jacobs. “[He has] strong organizational skills, helping us in a big way with his social media knowledge and data management.”

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For nearly 30 years, Roca has been working to change the patters and cycle of incarceration and poverty within young people in Massachusetts. With positive change and intensive relationships, Roca is helping individuals make life changes to develop health personal lives, educational goals, and employment skills. Using an evidence-based and data-driven intervention model that is uniquely designed for high-risk young adults, Roca is able to help those who may not have been ready or willing to change, make steps in the right direction.

“Through relentless outreach, tailored programming, and collaboration with community partners, we help young men transform their lives,” said Compitiello, “It’s incredible to see these young people turn their lives around from gangs, violence, and addiction to happy, healthy, and sustainable habits out of jail and off the streets, going to work every day.”

Believing in the organizations slogan, “Less jail. More future.” Compitiello is helping change the lives of individuals, and, in turn, change communities.

“We are creating systemic change in the communities we work in, and in the lives of these young people. They all deserve a chance at a better life, no matter what they’ve done before.”

Compitiello studied History at Eastern Nazarene College and minored in Religion, but those studies prepared him more than he could have imagined for his work in the world of nonprofit organizations.

“Most people look pretty puzzled when they realize I wasn’t a business major or something in that field. Funny enough, having my History degree has well equipped me to be in my current role,” said Compitiello, “The history program at ENC taught me to be an extremely critical thinker … I work with some very large donors to our organization and if I miss a critical detail in my work, it could really mess us up.”

Compitiello credits Eastern Nazarene College with showing him the importance of social justice and caring for others. He said that at college he learned what it meant to truly live out the Gospel in everything he did from relationships and money to work and free time.

“I’m not saying I’ve perfected that or have that nailed down and act like Christ every day, but Eastern Nazarene College showed me that I should strive to live like that in every facet of my life,” said Compitiello.

To learn more about Roca and the work Compitiello is doing visit Rocainc.org .

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