to equip those we serve with the skills to become self-sufficient productive members of their communities and society.
COMPASS, founded in 1974, is a nonprofit organization that provides services to an at-risk population of youth, adolescents and families. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive and individualized educational, stabilization, transition, counseling, support and enrichment services through our school-based and family based programs. Throughout our history, we have maintained a commitment to providing the highest quality services, with an experienced, committed and diverse staff.
In its various programs, COMPASS provides services to a wide variety of clients, including children and adolescents, families, public schools and school districts, and other private non-profit and public organizations. We define the quality of the services we provide in terms of the following core values:
Established as CAP Special Education. Programs included special education, outreach and tracking, and foster care. Name changed to Boston Basics in 1977 to reflect broader mission. New programs included an intensive remedial education program for CHINS students referred by the Boston Juvenile Court.
Basics included four storefront schools and counseling centers located in South Boston, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Charlestown. Named one of 45 organizations nationwide honored by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for "richness and diversity of approaches being used to avoid unnecessary incarceration of young people."
Began long-term relationship with Boston College PULSE Program as a placement site for BC students. Reorganized as COMPASS. Students received special recognition for class work entries from Roxbury District Court as part of its Law Day competition.
Selected by the Boston Public Schools to serve as the emergency referral site for severely emotionally disturbed and learning disabled secondary students. Secured a long term lease on the former Blessed Sacrament School in Jamaica Plain. Selected by residents of Harbor Point to operate an after school program on site. Established the COMPASS Violence Prevention Program.
Established intensive therapeutic tracking program for Department of Social Services. Began relationship with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps as site for full-time interns. Designed and implemented emergency special education program for Springfield, MA Public Schools. Featured in WBZ-TV's public service "Time to Care" Campaign.
Cited in editorial by WBZ-TV as one of four outstanding programs for children statewide. Boston Globe article recognized COMPASS' prevention work with high-risk children. Completed first capital campaign that supported major renovations for our Jamaica Plain site. Opened second site in Jamaica Plain for COMPASS Community Services Department.
Recognized by Massachusetts Legislature for "Outstanding Leadership in Violence Prevention." Opened fully equipped restaurant kitchen in vocational education program. Established COMPASS College Scholarship Fund for present and former COMPASS students. Recognized by Massachusetts State Senate for "dedicated service and positive influence to young people." Established our first nationwide program, the Inclusion Support Program, called COMPASS Consulting Services.
COMPASS launched first version of its web site. A front-page article in the Boston Herald features a COMPASS student, a former gang member, who secured a scholarship to Boston College. Established internship program for teachers at Wheelock College. COMPASS student wins Boston Herald Scholastic Competition. Joined the Boston NYPUM Collaborative.
Established the COMPASS Intensive Support Program at English High School. COMPASS student wins local poetry contest and reads his poem to Poet Laureate Maya Angelou in Roxbury. Mayor Thomas M. Menino proclaimed May 29, 1998 as COMPASS Violence Prevention Day in the City of Boston. Received the Peer Leadership Recognition Award from the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers.
John Lydon becomes COMPASS' Executive Director when longtime Executive Director Dave Manzo leaves to become the President/Executive Director of the Cotting School. Mr. Manzo remains involved with COMPASS as a member of its Board of Directors. Yvonne Vest, former principal at COMPASS, also joins the Board. COMPASS invited to participate in the Rodman Ride for Kids, an umbrella matching gift charity raising funds for youth focused social-service agencies that support at-risk children in Massachusetts. Opening of COMPASS Café, under the direction of Chris DeRocher, provides the public with an opportunity to experience first hand the skills and accomplishments of the students in the Culinary Arts vocational program.
COMPASS Consulting is hired by Jordan Brand, a division of NIKE, Inc., to manage the Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program. A successful merger takes place with The Holden School, a Charlestown school with a similar vision and mission. COMPASS' Administration and Community Services Program Staff move to their new headquarters at 329 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain. COMPASS is selected for participation in the Board Fellows program of the Harvard Business School (HBS), which matches Harvard MBA candidates with the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations for eight month engagements.
Middle School Academy After School Action Program (A.S.A.P.) is launched, which provides remediation and academic and enrichment services for low-income students aged 12-15. COMPASS Consulting administers over $1 million in Jordan Fundamentals grants. Peg Savage retires after 24 years of service as Business Manager.
Responding to economic challenges, COMPASS consolidates its 2 school service sites, offices for the Comprehensive Support & Stabilization Program, and administrative offices. This involved moving from 2 sites in Jamaica Plain and one site in Charlestown to Bowdoin Street in Dorchester, at the site of the former St. Peter's School.
ASAP program expands to the Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury. CSS Case Worker Steve B. is honored with a commendation letter from (then) Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. Legislators from Boston attend a meeting at COMPASS to discuss issues pertaining to Chapter 766 - private special education schools.
In 2010, CSS provided services to 10 Dept. of Children & Families (DCF) area offices. This has since increased to 17 area offices and 61 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The number of families served has nearly doubled in the past 5 years. In FY 2014, CSS served 325 families, including 457 adults and 622 children.
During the same period, COMPASS School has expanded school districts served from 8 to 16. The School population has nearly doubled in the past 5 years as a result.