Molly Baldwin is the founder and CEO of Roca, Inc., a nonprofit organization that works to disrupt the cycle of incarceration and poverty by helping young people transform their lives. A graduate of UMass, Amherst, Baldwin began her professional life as a youth worker and community organizer. She founded Roca in 1988.
For more than three decades, Baldwin has been a tireless advocate, mentor and community convener, reaching out to the highest-risk young people from Massachusetts’ most dangerous urban communities, and bringing together the major institutions, corporations and agencies that affect these young people’s lives. With the help of engaged institutions and Roca’s committed staff, Baldwin’s efforts at Roca have helped over 25,000 young people make positive and profound changes in their lives.
Today, Roca intensively reaches out to more than 800 participants each year across some 20 communities in Massachusetts, operating on the singular belief that – with the right help – people can change in spite of seemingly insurmountable circumstances.
Baldwin has been the recipient of numerous regional and national awards. In 2016, she received the Boston Bar Foundation Public Service Award and is widely recognized as a thought leader on criminal justice reform and high-risk young adults. A long-distance runner, she holds a master’s degree in education from Lesley University and an honorary PhD from Salem State University.