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Empowering journey 2020

The Empowering Journeys Luncheon is our biggest fundraiser of the year.  In normal times, this is an afternoon of inspiring storytelling and the coming together of  our community to raise essential funds to continue Compass Center’s mission of providing safety and self-sufficiency to all. This year, we are doing it a little differently. We would like to share with you videos from some of our community leaders and Compass Center supporters. A special thank you to all of our speakers that took the time from their extremely busy schedules to make these videos for us. We are so grateful.

First you will hear from Chief Justice Cheri Beasley of the NC Supreme Court who was scheduled to be our keynote speaker. You will also hear from NC Rep. Graig Meyer and Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood. The next video is from Aaron Nelson, President and CEO of The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro. Aaron was also scheduled to speak at the luncheon. Finally we will introduce you to the winner of the first Jennifer Dubow Volunteer of the Year Award. Thank you for visiting this page and thank you for supporting Compass Center!

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (scheduled keynote speaker)
Cheri Beasley is the 29th Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court – and the first African-American woman to serve as Chief Justice of the state’s highest Court. As Chief Justice, she’s responsible for making sure every North Carolina court has the tools they need to run smoothly. With Compass Center staff and volunteers providing survivors with court advocacy services in domestic violence court and helping clients with e-Filing of domestic violence protective orders, Judge Beasley’s commitment to equitable access to our court system is so important.

Graig Meyer, Representative, NC State House, representing District 50 (Caswell & Orange Counties)
Graig is a great supporter of Compass Center and really appreciates the complexity of our mission and the clients we serve. As a trained social worker, Rep. Meyer understands the need to protect those who are marginalized, vulnerable, and oppressed. 

Sheriff Charles Blackwood, Sheriff, Orange County
We work closely with the Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Blackwood is a phenomenal supporter of Compass Center. In the last several months we kicked off our Safe Homes Capital Campaign to raise funds to launch scattered site, emergency apartment housing for survivors of domestic violence and their children in Orange County. We are so grateful for the Sheriff’s support!
Aaron Nelson, President & CEO, The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro
Aaron is co-chairing our Capital Campaign to raise money for emergency housing in Orange County. Aaron is known for spurring big change and big ideas in our community and he did not hesitate to join our efforts to provide emergency housing. Aaron has a unique pulse on the power and spirit of our community and we are so lucky that he’s on our team. 

As we continue to provide vital domestic violence, self-sufficiency, and community education programs to our community in this time of crisis, please know that your support is making a difference. The Empowering Journeys Luncheon – our biggest fundraiser of the year – had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The loss of this fundraising opportunity has a negative impact on our ability to continue to serve our clients. Help us to continue to provide all of our services uninterrupted. We cannot do any of this without you. To those that have already made a donation – thank you! To those that are still considering and have visited this page today, will you make a donation toward meeting our fundraising gap? Your support will make a world of difference.  


Jennifer Dubow Volunteer of the Year Award


Jennifer Dubow was a volunteer career coach with Compass Center between 2015 and 2016.  Earlier this year we received the sad news of her passing. Jennifer was an amazing woman who touched many lives. She will be remembered as someone who helped others wherever and whenever she could. To honor Jennifer’s commitment to Compass Center’s mission, we are introducing the Jennifer Dubow Volunteer of the Year Award. This year’s award recipient is Cathy Canzanella.

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Cathy Canzanella

Cathy Canzanella has been a financial coach with The Women’s Center and then Compass Center for over 15 years. She is a native of Philadelphia, PA and attended St. Joseph’s University. She taught elementary school in Fairfax County, VA for 10 years. Then she relocated to New York and changed careers.  She worked in the banking industry selling Municipal Bonds for Fixed Income Securities such as Treasury Bonds and Bank obligations to Mutual Funds and State and Local Governments. She worked at Chemical Bank ( which is now JPMorgan Chase), Barclays Bank, and Discount Corporation in New York City.


From Cathy “Despite their level of education, most women need information about money management. I love to teach and hoped I could give women the tools to become financially independent. When clients leave the session looking more relaxed and empowered I feel terrific. Follow-up appointments keep me motivated and reinforce the importance of this service we provide to the community.”

LaKiera Grimes, Compass Center’s Self- Sufficiency Programs Director says, “Cathy is a financial counselor who really embodies the Compass Center mission. She is persistent and always goes the extra mile for clients by providing relevant information and support. Like many volunteers, Cathy works to understand the needs of clients and if she is unsure of the answer, she will commit to finding an appropriate resource. Cathy’s commitment to her role at Compass Center, no matter how big or small ,underscores the need for the program and frequently reminds me why this work is so important”.

A special thank you to all of our spring fundraising event supporters! Their generosity is now more critical than ever – please support them!

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