Stephen Michael Tumolo is the Executive Director of Heart-to-Heart, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that offers life-changing education in correctional facilities and faith communities. Stephen Michael grew up in South Philadelphia and moved with his family to New Jersey as a teenager. He studied at Boston College, earning degrees in Philosophy and Management. It was during this time, through volunteering in a Catholic Worker soup kitchen and in a home for boys, that he learned he loves to serve. Simultaneously, he encountered a God who loves him and who is undying in compassion and second chances. Inspired, Stephen Michael decided to pursue a vocation in the field of faith. He earned a Master's Degree in Theology with a concentration in Justice and Peace at the Maryknoll School of Theology.
In 1995 Stephen Michael moved to New Mexico, where he worked as a high school teacher and educator. In 1998 he was invited by Sister Mary Jo Boland to co-facilitate a healing, learning journey for incarcerated men called Comienzos, which means beginnings. Over the past twenty years, men and women in jails and prisons have had a profound impact on him. They have introduced him to the twelve steps and twelve recoveries. They've modeled courage and vulnerability and drawn out his passion for healing, justice, and a lasting peace.
Stephen Michael returned to New Jersey in 2008 and brought this healing work with him. He co-founded Heart-to-Heart: Comienzos East, bringing life-changing education to jails, prisons, and communities. Now serving as Heart-to-Heart's Executive Director, Stephen Michael continues to educate in and out of correctional facilities. He leads groups for men who survived childhood sexual trauma, facilitates restorative dialogues, and provides training and coaching to individuals, couples, families, faith communities, businesses, and nonprofits. Stephen Michael is a coach and trainer in Heart-to-Heart Communication. He is an accredited T'ai Chi Chih instructor and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. He has personally studied and is forever indebted to Marshall Rosenberg, Robert Gonzales, Philip Shepherd, and Sister Grace Myerjack, MM.
As Heart-to-Heart grows, Stephen Michael is growing with it. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University and conducting research demonstrating the effectiveness of Heart-to-Heart's programs