Cindy O’Connor serves at the Director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown. Ms. O’Connor has a degree from Saint Francis University in Organizational Leadership and Management. Since 2004, she has served in a leadership role for several local and regional non-profits. Her extensive experience includes coordinating programing for youth development, engagement, prevention, volunteer recruitment and management.
As the Director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection, Ms. O’Connor’s her primary role is to oversee the efforts to protect vulnerable persons, children and young people for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Responsibilities also include creating a diocesan-wide safe environment plan, reviewing organizational structures for maximum efficiently, increasing youth protection awareness communication efforts, implementing best practices for record keeping and to ensure all compliance measures are being met. Additionally, she holds the certification credentials to provide Youth Protection Awareness and Mandated Reporting Training within the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
Prior to joining the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, she held the position of the GoodGuides® Youth Mentoring Program Manager for Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies. She provided direct oversight of a national mentoring program championing under-resourced youth, working with volunteers and community partners. One of the primary duties included ensuring compliance with the policies and procedures of and supplemental grants supporting positive outcomes and best practices for national mentoring programs.
Additional responsibilities with Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies included serving as the Youth Services Coordinator for Bedford, Blair and Cambria Counties. In this role, she supported front-line youth staff with training, monitoring programming and initiated internal collaboration to create a youth development model for continuum of supportive services.
Previously, Ms. O’Connor was the Development Director for The Learning Lamp. She was tasked with fundraising efforts, board development, volunteer management and supported community and school-based outreach initiatives.
Her non-profit experience started as the District Executive of the Penn’s Woods Council, Boy Scouts of America, serving Cambria and Northern Somerset Counties. Duties included, volunteer management, youth development, fundraising and supporting youth development programming.
Community involvement incudes holding the title as a certified trainer for the Bridges Out of Poverty framework and a facilitator for Getting Ahead in Just Gettin’ by World. She has had the privilege to support local and regional community initiatives by addressing the lack of opportunities and resource for youth and families. These opportunities allowed her to support diversified and vulnerable populations, understand the importance of building relationships of mutual respect and above all, ensure the safety for all stakeholders.