The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network awarded Roca Boston assistant director Tha Thai with the Light of Dawnn Award, presented annually to three nonprofit professionals working in Massachusetts who demonstrate marked compassion and unwavering commitment to serving those in need, on Tuesday, February 28. Thai, who started at Roca as a youth worker, earned the award for his exceptional ability to build trust and promote behavior change with the high risk young men that Roca serves.
Roca’s model starts with relentless outreach, building trust with the highest risk young men and encouraging them to attend classes and work crews at Roca to build a better future and break the cycle of poverty and incarceration. With Thai’s years of experience as a youth worker, he has helped train other youth workers at the organization on better ways to connect with these high risk young men. Thai also leads Roca’s effort to build relationships within the Boston community, specifically with police, to learn more about how to best approach and connect with young people in the city.
“Tha is a unique character, with a humble and respectful approach—he has a special way of interacting with people that really earns him respect,” said Molly Baldwin, Roca founder and CEO. “His commitment to young people, to Roca and to building these connections to better the Boston community makes him so deserving of this award.”
The Light of Dawnn Award was created to honor the life of Dawnn Ashley Jaffier, who was tragically killed at 26-years-old from gun violence. She was a budding professional in Boston’s nonprofit community, and these awards honor her life and dedication to giving back.