Finding Purpose Outside of The Office

Your Community Needs You

Investing your professional skills and knowledge with non-profits in your community is another path to finding great purpose; however, non-profits are like any other human enterprise in that some are more effective in achieving their objectives than others. How can you know your investment of time and money will be well utilized? The fear of “throwing away” your scarce time or having your funds underutilized by an ineffective organization is a rational concern. Treat your search for purpose outside of the office like you would any employment decision — vet the team, the mission, check out the financials, and evaluate their overall effectiveness against their mission.

I knew ROCA was different when I met founder and ceo Molly Baldwin last spring and she shared ROCA’s obsession with data, their outcomes assessment model, and their ambitions to foster sustainable multi-generational change by impacting the lives of high-risk young mothers. This was an organization I wanted to help with my money and my time because it connected me with a purpose bigger than myself, calling on me to flex my professional skills and nudging me out of my comfort zone.

The ROCA Young Mothers’ program serves the highest risk young mothers, ages 16–24 who are not ready, willing, or able to participate in other programming. Through ROCA’s cutting edge intervention model, these young people are engaged to achieve their high-school equivalency diploma and pre-vocational training, learn skills for constructive thoughts and action, access employment programming and placement. Through their four years with ROCA, young moms learn how to work, how to break out of cycles of poverty, and how to be the best possible moms for their children.

ROCA does the work that no one thinks is possible and they put the data behind their model to prove their impact is real.

Most recently, the Young Mothers program is refocusing on even higher risk young moms and working to expand the scope of the program. I have joined ROCA’s Young Mothers Advisory Board to assist in this effort because it takes an investment of time and money to create lasting impact.

Here are my reasons for supporting ROCA.

  • The impact of each dollar is visible and measurable. Results matter, data backs the plan at ROCA and the team embraces iteration to continually drive effectiveness.
  • ROCA is apolitical. The work at ROCA transcends partisan politics. It is about doing good work and solving community issues at the community level.
  • Every person has potential at ROCA. ROCA’s high-touch intervention model respects the dignity and potential of their clients. ROCA teaches life skills, work habits, and helps young people transition to independence through stable employment.
  • Longevity, leadership, and vision of Molly Baldwin. The team Molly has assembled at ROCA over the past 28 years speaks to the sustainability of the organization and their effectiveness. They are top-notch in every measure.
  • It’s personal. Coming from a modest background, I understand first hand the struggles of working mothers, single parents, and grandparents as primary caregivers; as well as the impact of addiction, physical and emotional abuse, and incarceration on families. ROCA addresses complex problems for young people with few options.

Real, sustainable disruption is hard to come by in the community they serve, but ROCA is real — no magical thinking, just 28 years of hard work closing the gaps in our society to open real avenues of change to young men and women making critical life choices for themselves, their children, and their communities.

Do something that makes an impact, don’t just talk about it. Find your purpose outside of the office. Your professional skills and experience are also needed in your community. Short on time to give? You can also donate funds directly to ROCA by visiting their donor page.