Living our Values: Atlas Software Engineer Commits to Caring for his Community and is Recognized as Everyday Hero

James DeCarli Accepting Award (photo by Louisa Printz).

In 2007 at 42 years old, Atlas Senior Software Engineer James DeCarli began training in Taekwon-Do, a Korean martial art and combat sport. Just four years later he earned his first black belt. Today he is a fourth-degree black belt Taekwon-Do instructor and he is putting his skills to use to help people in his community stay safe.

Partnering with Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and the Southbury, Connecticut Parks & Recreation Department, James regularly conducts self-defense seminars to empower individuals and to raise funds for Safe Haven.

Safe Haven is a nonprofit organization providing crisis and support services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. All services are confidential, free, and available 24/7. The workshops James leads offer a way for women and men to learn self-defense strategies, which promote personal safety and build confidence.

James was recently honored for his community service by Safe Haven and was the recipient of the Henry ‘Mike’ & Diane Boylan Everyday Hero Award, which is presented each year to an individual or group who is “constantly giving back and making a difference in the community.”

James DeCarli with Diane Boylan.

Presenting the award was “Chaz” of the WPLR radio show “Chaz & AJ in the Morning,” who said “James is an example that it is never too late to learn or to help others. His dedication and passion for volunteering his time and skills for the betterment of others cannot be surpassed.”

Along with the award, James was presented with “Special Congressional Recognitions” from United States Representative Johana Hayes and United States Senator Richard Blumenthal.

The award and special recognitions were given to acknowledge James’ twenty years of public service as a volunteer with a number of non-profit organizations, including Safe Haven.

“Performing community service is a privilege and a moral responsibility,” said James. “Even small efforts of support can have a significant impact on others and the work done by Safe Haven is just too important not to support. They are helping to put a stop to child sex abuse, they are providing crisis services for those who have suffered domestic violence, sexual assault first responders, emergency safe houses, and many other critical support services. They save lives. Once I learned what they do, how could I not help?”

Click below for highlights from the award ceremony, including the presentation of James’ award: