Royals visit Roca, a nonprofit focused on outreach to high-risk youth

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Prince William, Princess Catherine, and Molly Baldwin, executive director of Roca

December 6, 2022 – During a three-day visit to Boston from November 30 to December 2, William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales, made a stop at Roca, a nonprofit in Chelsea, Mass. that works to interrupt intergenerational cycles of incarceration and poverty through intensive mentorship of at-risk young adults.

Two alumnae from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—Christine Kendall, SM ’07, DrPH ’22, and Maggie Moore, MPH ’22, both Roca board members—were on hand for the royal visit. Kendall is president of Roca’s board and founding partner of SmarterGive, where she provides strategic advice on high-impact philanthropy to individuals, families, and businesses. Moore is an adviser and board member at a number of organizations serving parents and families across the country.

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Christine Kendall, who chairs Roca’s board, poses with two men who participate in Roca’s programming: Matthew Quinton, left, and Jonathan Williams

Most of William’s and Catherine’s time was spent with two young men and two young mothers currently being served by Roca’s programming, Kendall said. They also visited Roca’s playroom, which provides babysitting when mothers are in programs. Kendall noted that the royals were particularly interested in Roca’s intergenerational work. “We believe that to stabilize young children you need to first stabilize parents, so we work with both generations,” she said. “[William and Catherine] were also interested in the strong focus we have on mental health.”

She added, “It was a very special day for Roca to have 35 years of community work highlighted at such an international level.”

The royal couple came to Boston for the second annual Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony, held on December 2. Also that day, Princess Catherine visited Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University for a discussion on early childhood development.

Photos courtesy Christine Kendall

Read a Boston Globe article about the royal visit to Roca: ‘A gift beyond gifts’: Prince and Princess of Wales spotlight grassroots community outreach at visit to Roca

Read a Harvard Gazette article about Princess Catherine’s visit to the Center on the Developing Child: Princess makes most of Harvard visit