Joan DiPiero

A Note from Joan

Caring for the Community

Joan DiPiero

Joan DiPiero

By Joan DiPiero
Community Engagement Coordinator

Attorney Krista Krepp has a passion for community service that influenced her career and propelled her into social entrepreneurship.

After graduating from College of DuPage, Krista prepared for a career in law. As an extern with the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, Krista witnessed the exhaustive problem of recidivism.    

“It nagged me,” said Krista. “Systemically, we were setting people up for failure, making it difficult for them to find employment or receive government aid with a criminal background. I knew there had to be an answer.” 

Statistics show that the greatest defense to recidivism is employment. With that in mind, Krista and two colleagues became social entrepreneurs, venturing to make a transformational impact on the community. In 2021, they founded Courageous Convictions, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide clients with marketable skills and mentoring to start their own businesses.

But that was just the start.

“Through my volunteer experience with different agencies, I met people who could share additional resources, like counseling and teaching materials,” she explained. 

When she turned to her alma mater to request a donation of used laptops, she received more than equipment. COD signed on to offer a pilot program providing graphic design and entrepreneurial instruction through the Continuing Education office. With COD’s support and connections to community organizations like DuPage Pads, Courageous Convictions plans to welcome their first students in the upcoming year.  

Through student service-learning opportunities and campus-wide volunteer programs, COD continues to partner with organizations and encourage other social entrepreneurs to make a positive impact on our community.  

Get involved

Reach out to COD’s Community Engagement at contactus@cod.edu.