August 21, 2011
A Conversation with Rochelle Ripley

Rochelle has nearly 40 Years experience in the fields of prevention and human services. In the late 1970’s, she trained with Bill Lofquist (Associates for Youth Development) and David Hawkins (Social Learning Theory) as part of the Connecticut Task Force on Positive Youth Development. This framed her lifelong approach to prevention and personal and community development: creating positive models of inclusion. Rochelle’s philosophy is that individuals, families and communities make their own best decisions when given valid information, empowerment skills and adequate resources.

Rochelle founded hawkwing in 1996 as a Native American non-profit agency. With permission from her Elders, she is a Native Storyteller and teacher of Medicine Wheel wisdom for personal development. Through hawkwing, Rochelle is fulfilling a promise to her Lakota Grandmother “to go home and help the people.”

Prior to her work with hawkwing, Rochelle directed ERASE, a fifteen town substance abuse prevention agency from 1990 to 2003; had lengthy involvement in local, state and national politics; served as Community Services Director for the United Labor Agency from 1981 to 1990; was a founding member of the CT Commission on Children by appointment of Governor O’Neill; wrote the original treatise for and helped found MATCH (a coalition dedicated to smoking prevention and reduction) and served as their statewide spokesperson for five years.

To learn more about Rochelle, please visit!

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