Finding One's Future with a Leap of Faith: Director Adrienne's Career Journey

By Sara Porcaro | Sep 16, 2020
Director of Employment, Promotion, Recognition, Disabilities, Rhode Island, Employment Services

With all the different choices and paths we can take, sometimes it seems like the options are overwhelming, and that can make it difficult to keep moving towards our goals. However, while it's true that one can't predict the future to know if success is ahead of us, when we follow our passions and interests, perhaps we don't need to.
That's how driven professionals like Adrienne Tipple stay on the paths they make for themselves--and how Adrienne, recently promoted to Director of Employment Services, reached one of the many goals in her work with Perspectives' Employment Department. As we celebrate Adrienne's success, we're also taking a look on her road to her current position.
As someone who grew up familiar with the world of human services--both through her mother, a teacher's assistant in the Coventry school system, and her participation in events like local Special Olympics games--Adrienne was always interested in giving back to her community through a career in the field. She began going to school for special education at CCRI, where she received her associates degree before transferring to Rhode Island College. During her studies, she also worked full time as a manager at a local restaurant, where she enjoyed working in the fast-paced environment food service requires, as well as working alongside individuals with disabilities who were a part of her crew.
"They were some of the most dedicated, dependable people to work with," Adrienne says about the individuals who joined her team. "I could always count on them to help when we were understaffed, and they worked so hard. They helped me realize what I really wanted to do."
And what she wanted to do included creating a space where individuals with disabilities could continue to shine in an integrated workplace setting. However, as Adrienne continued working her current job through school, she realized that teaching wasn't where her talents were meant to be. Her love of the food service industry kept her dedicated to her work at the restaurant, where she had many great experiences--including allowing her restaurant to host one local service provider's weekly meetings to coordinate services for individuals they supported. Adrienne built connections with this group, learning more about the possibilities in human services, but it wasn't until the restaurant changed ownership that she decided to leave and start a new career path.
With her cousin's recommendation to work at Perspectives, she headed there to start work in Transitional School Services (TSS) and Home Based Therapeutic Services (HBTS) as a Direct Support Professional. Then, in 2014, the Employment Department was born, where Adrienne soon moved after inquiring about different opportunities within the agency. She interviewed with Chief Operating Officer Kim Einloth, became a Vocational Specialist and then a Job Developer, and took special interest in the ProjectSEARCH programs, where she got to bring her talents from TSS into the world of employment as she supported students in completing their internships with Miriam Hospital.
"Being the Job Developer for TSS programs was my true passion over the three and a half years I worked in that position," Adrienne says. "Beyond that, I had experience on both sides of the aisle, thanks to my work in food service; I had the perspective of being both a Job Developer for individuals and the manager that hires them, and it made it easier to connect with employers about job opportunities."
But all the way through, Adrienne had her sights set on leadership; as hard as it was to leave the role she loved for her current position as Director, she's always wanted to be in a place where she could support individuals and fellow professionals alike in accomplishing all the incredible things they want to do. And all the while, Adrienne has learned what she knows through Perspectives' frequent and extensive training opportunities, which earned her various certifications, like the ACRE certification, as well as her on-the-job experience.
"Perspectives is amazing at training their employees," Adrienne says. "For me, in my career, it's the experience I got from just doing the work that's gotten me where I am, and I think it's important for people just starting their career to understand that often, you don't know what you can do until you do it. You have to push through your own uncertainty; there are always people on your team who can help you when you're stuck."
Now, Adrienne is looking forward to continuing her career and learning the skills necessary to take her leadership further. At Perspectives, an agency she describes as "one big family," she's working with her peers in the industry on the Person Centered Supported Employment Performance Program (PCSEPP), as well as developing her leadership skills further as she continues to ensure the quality and safety of employment services during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a team of dedicated employment professionals standing by her, Adrienne's set for success, and we're wishing her the best in her new role!


Read More From Perspectives ...

Designed for Efficiency: Jared's Personalized Workflow at Apple Cinemas
July 19, 2022
Jared's got the hang of things after a month at Apple Cinemas--and his teammates learned a lot from his style!

Changing the Game in Rhode Island's American Sign Language Interpreting Services
July 5, 2022
The accessibility of ASL services in Rhode Island is entering a new phase, and we're excited to see what the future holds!

Journeying Through Customized Employment: Two Years of PCSEPP
June 28, 2022
This June brings PCSEPP to a close, and after a journey like this, we're looking back at the lasting impact it's had on our community!

Forging the Future in Shared Living Arrangements: Yankee's Journey
June 23, 2022
Yankee's looking to start a new life—and you could be the one to help make it happen!

Seeking the Space to Be Ourselves: Josh's SLA Journey
June 14, 2022
Josh is looking to start a new chapter, and you can help by spreading the word (or becoming an SLA provider yourself)!

What Proper Funding (and the Lack Thereof) Does for the I/DD Community
May 24, 2022
When it comes to giving the I/DD community the support they deserve, there's no better way to do that than by providing the appropriate funding.

Rhode Islanders Fill the State House for the Funding of Human Services
May 10, 2022
Make sure to let your representatives know that you support this critical legislation!

The Ripple Effect of Customized Employment in Rhode Island Nonprofits
April 26, 2022
We've learned so much these past two years in PCSEPP—and those lessons continue to influence our community as the program comes to a close.

The Missing Link in American Sign Language Interpretation
April 12, 2022
In the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, quality communication matters--and Deaf Interpreters can provide that missing piece to achieve full understanding.

Copyright 2020 © Perspectives Corporation