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Season Four

Above the Clouds

That Sounds Terrific Podcast

Ep 94 - Ed Dudley  TST Cover.png

Ep 98: The Power of Human Connection

Join host Nick Koziol on That Sounds Terrific as he explores the terrific work of Compeer Rochester with CEO Sarah Passamante. Discover how Compeer's non-clinical model emphasizes the power of intentional friendship, pairing individuals aged five and up with compassionate volunteers from the community. Through shared experiences and activities, these matches form bonds that transcend traditional therapy settings, providing much-needed companionship and support.
Sarah shares Compeer's journey, from its roots in 1973 to its vital role today. Through personal stories, Sarah illustrates the lasting impact of Compeer's connections. Tune in to That Sounds Terrific to discover how you can involved to support the magic of Compeer Rochester.

About Sara Passamonte, CEO Compeer Rochester

Sara Passamonte was born and raised in Rochester, NY within a family of musicians. She obtained a bachelor’s in psychology from Nazareth College in 2005, having completed a summer internship at Compeer Rochester. After being employed in multiple roles at Compeer post-graduation, Sara became the Director of Programs in 2014 and assumed the role of President in January 2020. In this first year, Sara led the organization through the challenges of COVID-19 and the social justice movement, taking every opportunity to keep mental health in the spotlight. Sara was honored as a member of Rochester Business Journal’s “Forty under 40” in 2021. Sara previously served on the Monroe County Youth Bureau Board, serves on the advisory board of Crossroads of Caring, and maintains ongoing collaborative efforts with other nonprofits in the area. Sara is trained in Critical Incident Management, Advancing Youth Development, and Trauma-Informed Care. She is a long-time Compeer volunteer.

Connect and Follow Compeer Rochester:

During her long rehabilitation from a near-fatal automobile accident in 1975, Rochesterian Bernice “Bunny” Skirboll discovered the healing power of friendship and vowed to make a difference in others’ lives. She got involved in the Mental Health Association’s Adopt-A-Patient Program and soon transformed it into the community-based Compeer model, serving as Executive Director from its inception through 2006.

Under Skirboll’s leadership, Compeer grew from a small program in Rochester to an internationally recognized mental wellness model and organization — one that has demonstrated solid results and been replicated around the globe.

Today, the Compeer Rochester team carries forward our founder’s vision and mission to provide healing friendship to community members living with mental health challenges — and to shatter the stigma surrounding mental health conditions. The Compeer Model has been replicated throughout the US and Australia, with additional affiliates in Canada and the United Kingdom.

More About That Sounds Terrific - Host Nick Koziol
For more information on our Podcast, That Sounds Terrific visit our website at  and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you or someone you know are doing some terrific things that should be featured by our show then be sure to reach out by emailing us at

Special Thank You to Our Sponsors & Key Supporters:
Chris Jones of Chris Jones Media for the Introduction and Outro recordings for That Sounds Terrific. 

Intro and Outro animation created in collaboration with Ben Albert of Balbert Marketing, LLC. Boost your business popularity, traffic, and conversions online!  

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