Our Strategic Action Plan 20/20 Vision reaches milestone

On Wednesday, April 10, 2019, The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc. brought together 50 of its leaders and future leaders to discuss the organization’s strategic plan. Vision 20/20 is a three-year action plan to transform IPPI into a unified agency.

During the past nearly two years, members of this group of 50 have been working through the plan’s strategic goals and objectives to create recommendations and next steps for implementation. At the meeting last Wednesday, the group met with Stella Lee, an Encore Fellow with Empower Success Corps. Stella will be working with IPPI to shepherd Vision 20/20 through to implementation and completion.

Our efforts to implement the strategic plan have been supported by IPPI staff and board members working together. This continued partnership and collaboration will bring us closer to our vision for stronger communities.

To read the organization’s strategic plan, click here.

Strengthening families through education and art

Meet Genese Clark, founder of Advocate Lab, LLC. A native of New Haven, Connecticut, Clark comes from a long line of creative thinkers. In childhood, she learned a mantra that would guide her for life. Originally her father’s mantra, the “Four Things” include the following powerful reminders: “1. Put God first; 2. Think for yourself; 3. Stick together; and 4. Never give up.” The “Four Things” resonated with Clark as she pursued her goals.

Clark launched Advocate Lab, LLC with the vision of creating a legacy of strong families through empathy, collaboration, and scholarly research.

Clark utilizes the Family Strengths Model which identifies six universal areas that families typically possess in order to identify their unique strengths and build on them.

Continue reading

Our Maryland Day Options Program artists pose with their creations

Some of the individuals in our community-based day supports program took great joy in creating these beautiful paintings! The program is designed to to enable individuals to enjoy a full  range of community activities. Community involvement offers opportunities to develop social, vocational, and communication skills that build confidence and independence. With a person-centered approach to supports individuals can enjoy a fuller life as they are actively making choices, pursuing prefered activities and experiencing inclusion. Learn more at MD Community-Based Day Supports

Ellen McNally believes in the healing power of yoga for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Meet Ellen McNally. Ellen is a Trauma Sensitive Yoga Instructor. McNally believes in the healing power of yoga and meditation and encourages foster caregivers and youth in foster care, who often struggle with the devastating effects of trauma, to explore these natural options.

McNally began practicing her craft in 2012. Her classes are designed to support students of all ages, abilities, and physical capacities. She specializes in yoga for deep relaxation, stress, and anxiety and for veterans who have experienced PTSD.

Recently, Ellen joined the Integrative Medicine staff at Yale New Haven Hospital to teach yoga and guided meditation. McNally also provides Reiki (therapeutic touch therapy) to cancer patients.

McNally supports foster care awareness and serves as a resource for the IPPI permanency team by doing what she does best – easing the mind through body work.

Learn more by visiting her website

Our individuals find joy and a sense of purpose through art

“I love supporting our individuals businesses!” Christy George, Youth & Family Resource Manager for IPPI’s Permanency Team, proudly displays her purchase of custom artwork created by Millie, of Magic by Millie. A number of individuals we support participate in vocational programs that provide opportunities for them to share their passion and creativity.

The entrepreneurial spirit is a tradition in the Ocasio family  

Meet Anaika Ocasio. Anaika worked for the US Postal Service for 16 years, but when USPS announced downsizing throughout the US, just like that and much like our youth in foster care, her life changed abruptly.

Anaika comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Raised by her grandparents, business owners in Puerto Rico, Anaika learned first hand the importance of hard work and ingenuity. At the age of 12, Anaika relocated to New Haven, Connecticut and was reunited with her mother, who also embodies the entrepreneurial spirit. Anaika’s mom was the first woman to open a clothing boutique on Grand Avenue in the 80s. Anaika’s mother encouraged her to explore her own entrepreneurial spirit and in doing so, she discovered the world of massage therapy.

Continue reading

Empowering Individuals Through Financial Freedom  

Meet Larcina Carrington Wynn. Ms. Wynn is a North Carolina native, who migrated to New Haven, Connecticut in 1968. Since the age of nine, she has always had an interest
in numbers and a passion for helping people with their personal finances.

Ms. Wynn knows firsthand the stress and anxiety one can experience when personal finances are amiss and there does not seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Much like our youth in foster care, Wynn has had to build her dreams from the ground up and continue building in order to see her vision actualized.

In 1992, Ms. Wynn founded Carrington Financial Services, LLC., where she serves as the President. The company offers services ranging from accounting and bookkeeping, tax preparation and planning, back office support, as well as debt reduction and management plans, payroll, and more.

Continue reading

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at IPPI

“Art by Alec” is a collection of beautiful, handcrafted items made by one of the individuals IPPI supports. Many of his pieces reflect his love of the ocean. Alec’s skill and creativity speak for themselves! He’s looking forward to his venture into entrepreneurship and is off to a great start with a fully stocked display case of his creations ready for purchase.


When the going gets tough, Jeff Dorosh gets going!

Meet Jeff Dorosh. Jeff owns and operates Clothesline Laundromat. Much like our youth
in foster care, Jeff has faced challenging situations with resilience. Jeff lost his job in 2006. While exploring his next career opportunity, Jeff learned about an existing laundry business that was for sale. He seized the opportunity in 2011 and purchased the business. Since then, Jeff has moved the business and expanded operations in a new location.

Jeff supports foster care awareness because he knows the importance of a supportive community. In fact, the Clothesline Laundromat is a hub of information about how to become a foster parent through The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc.

Stop by, say hello and learn more about the importance of foster parenting. And while you’re at it, bring a bag of clothes or two!

You can check him out on Facebook or on his website.