Compassion and Commitment: Alyssa Ciarrocchi’s Journey from Educator to Behavioral Analyst

Compassion and Commitment: Alyssa Ciarrocchi's Journey from Educator to Behavioral Analyst
Photo Courtesy: Alyssa Ciarrocchi

By: Alyssa Ciarrocchi

Alyssa Ciarrocchi is a dedicated Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a rich background in education and a deep commitment to special education. Growing up with a passion for teaching, she pursued her education at Rowan University and St. Joseph’s University, accumulating degrees and certifications that span K-5 education, special education, and applied behavior analysis. Alyssa’s career evolved from teaching at Triton and Clearview High Schools to a specialized role in behavior analysis, driven by her belief in compassion and understanding. Outside of her professional life, she is a marathon runner, real estate enthusiast, and devoted mother, balancing her diverse interests with a focus on making a positive impact in the lives of children and families she works with.

Q&A with Alyssa Ciarrocchi

Growing up, what inspired you to pursue a career in education and eventually specialize in special education and behavior analysis?

From a young age, I knew I wanted to be involved in education. I was always drawn to helping others learn and grow. My involvement with Little Flyers, a disability hockey team, further solidified my desire to specialize in special education. Witnessing the impact of tailored support and encouragement on children with disabilities was incredibly motivating.

With an impressive educational background, including your work towards a Master’s in Special Education and certifications in Learning Disabilities and Applied Behavior Analysis, how have these experiences shaped your approach as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst?

Each step of my educational journey added a new layer to my understanding and approach. My degree in K-5 Education laid the foundation, the Writing Arts minor and Reading certification enhanced my communication skills, and my Master’s and subsequent certifications equipped me with specialized tools and strategies. These experiences have taught me the importance of individualized, evidence-based interventions in supporting diverse learning needs.

Transitioning from a teacher to a Registered Behavioral Technician and now a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, what have been the key milestones in your career?

The transition from teaching at Triton and Clearview High Schools to becoming a Registered Behavioral Technician marked a significant shift towards more specialized, one-on-one support. The pivotal moment, however, was obtaining my Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification. This allowed me to combine my passion for education with a focus on behavior analysis, enabling me to make a more profound impact on the lives of the children and families I work with.

Outside of your professional life, you’ve run marathons, pursued a Real Estate certification, and are actively involved in your family business. How do you balance these diverse interests with your career and personal life?

Balancing my career, hobbies, and family life is certainly challenging, but deeply rewarding. I believe in the importance of personal fulfillment and happiness, both in and out of work. Running marathons, exploring real estate, and supporting my husband’s family business are not just hobbies; they are extensions of my commitment to growth, learning, and community involvement. Time management and prioritizing my family have been key to maintaining this balance.

You’ve mentioned that compassion is a crucial attribute in your field. Can you share an example of how this quality has influenced a particular case or interaction in your role as a BCBA?

Compassion is at the heart of everything I do as a BCBA. There was a case where a child was struggling significantly with communication, leading to behavioral challenges. By empathizing with the child and the family’s situation, we were able to implement a personalized communication strategy that leveraged the child’s strengths. Witnessing the child’s progress and the family’s relief and joy was a powerful reminder of the impact compassion can have in facilitating growth and understanding.

Your mother has been a significant influence in your life. How has her example guided you in your professional journey and in shaping your approach to being a mother yourself?

AC: My mother’s unwavering support, kindness, and strength have been my guiding light. She taught me the value of empathy, resilience, and the importance of nurturing relationships, qualities that I strive to embody as a professional and a mother. Her example has shown me that success is not just about achieving personal goals but also about making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Key Takeaways

  • Compassion as a Cornerstone: Alyssa Ciarrocchi emphasizes that compassion is essential in her role as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, highlighting its importance in understanding and supporting families and children effectively.
  • Educational Foundation: Her extensive education, including a Master’s in Special Education and certifications in Learning Disabilities and Applied Behavior Analysis, underpins her approach and effectiveness in her specialized field.
  • Influence of Personal Values: Alyssa’s personal values, shaped significantly by her mother’s example, drive her commitment to her profession and her approach to being a mother, showcasing the interconnection between personal and professional life in fostering success and fulfillment.


Published By: Aize Perez

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