Molly Baldwin is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Roca. A graduate of UMass Amherst, Molly began her professional life as a youth worker and community organizer, and soon founded Roca in 1988 for a small group of high-risk young people.
For almost 35 years, she has been a tireless advocate, mentor, and community convener, reaching out to the young people at the center of violence in Massachusetts’ most troubled urban communities, and bringing together the major institutions, agencies, and corporations affecting their lives.
With the help of engaged institutions and Roca’s committed staff, Molly’s efforts at Roca have helped over 25,000 young people make positive and profound changes in their lives. Today, Roca relentlessly reaches out to over 1,300 young adults each year across 25 communities in Massachusetts, Hartford, CT and in Baltimore, MD. Meanwhile the Roca Impact Institute, Roca’s intensive coaching arm, equips community-based violence intervention (CVI) programs, juvenile and young adult justice agencies, and law enforcement with tools and strategies to address trauma, reduce violence and improve outcomes for young people.
Under Molly’s leadership, Roca’s Intervention Model has become one of the most effective interventions for young adults at critical risk in the nation. Molly holds a master’s degree in Education from Lesley University and honorary Ph.D. degrees from Salem State University and Lesley University. She was a 2020 recipient of the prestigious Heinz Award in the Human Condition category.