Dominic began working at 180 Degrees in 2020, and started his new position as interim senior manager of the shelter about two months ago.
"My goal is to continue the amazing work that our former director Amie did," he says. "I also want to continue to grow awareness throughout the community and connect with local resources," he adds. "I want to sustain a safe, caring environment for the youth, employees and volunteers at our shelter."
Q: You studied criminal justice at St. Cloud State. How did you go from that to working with youth?
A: A police officer I interviewed with advised me to get some experience volunteering with youth. After interviewing for a position as a Youth Advocate for 180 Degrees, I knew this is where I needed to be in life. I knew it was a career I could be passionate about.
My background led me to this work. My family experienced addiction issues, and I was bounced around to different family members. But I’ve always experienced stable and consistent love. I want to do better for the youth we serve – and show them that regardless of their current situation, they can make it through.
Q: What’s your biggest challenge at St. Cloud Youth Shelter?
A: Since the shelter is under renovation right now, we have limited space to gather, hang out, and offer support. We don’t have a working kitchen right now, but we still need to make sure youth are fed.
Q: Tell us about a recent success story at the shelter.
A: A young man came to our shelter who was struggling severely with meth addiction. He stayed for about 5 months. He was able to go home and reconnect with his family on Christmas Day. We didn’t know how we would be successful, but everyone – including his family – wanted the best for this individual, although he wasn’t able to see it for himself. We helped him see that his past troubles didn’t determine his future.
Q: Tell us a fun fact or something unusual about you.
A: I was born in New Hampshire. I have a goal of seeing all 50 states in the next 5 years. I’m halfway there.
For over thirty years, CEO Dan Pfarr has been on the front lines of the human services community, working to lift-up youth, adults, and families in crisis. His focus on trauma-informed care helps shape the direction of 180 Degrees and inspire a team of nearly one hundred employees. As a multi-cultural organization with staff and clients who have suffered a life of prejudice and inequality, 180 Degrees continues prioritizing discussion and action against a system of racial injustice.