Over several weekends in February 2019, COMPASS Youth Collaborative’s staff and Board of Directors met with consultant David Hunter. Sponsored by Dalio Philanthropy’s Connecticut Opportunities Project, the purpose of the meetings was to develop a Theory of Change for COMPASS—specifically a Theory of Change outlining how to create the positive change we want for our youth.
Mr. Hunter pushed the Team to look at our organization’s work, what we do well, where we have challenges, and where we have opportunities.
We began with a goal for our youth, becoming ready, willing, and able to succeed in education, employment, and life. Then we worked backward. We asked ourselves, what tools do youth need to succeed? What does our organization need to look like to provide these tools effectively?
As we looked closely at our structure, it became evident that we would have to focus our work to make the most significant impact. That led us to make the difficult decision to narrow our target program participants to high-risk youth in the City of Hartford, ages 16-20.
What makes a youth “high-risk”? We believe the circumstances that young people live in cause them to become at-risk of not transitioning successfully to adulthood. It is our goal to help youth navigate these circumstances.
At COMPASS, we are mission-driven. Our mission is to connect with high-risk youth wherever they are in the City of Hartford. We engage them in relationships to provide supports and opportunities that help them become ready, willing, and able to succeed in education, employment, and life.
Focusing our work will allow us to fulfill our vision; building a community where our youth feel safe, live peacefully, and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.