Jane Goodall said “What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Tina Paradiso, President of Imprintable Solutions Ink, in Rochester New York lives every day by making a difference in the lives of young people. This compassionate leader is a work mom to young people 14-24 years old disconnected from so things many of us take for granted. They come to Imprintable Solutions through the internship program where caring, love, and skills training help them to foster next steps to achieve, grow, and evolve in many magnificent ways.

 Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.” Kevin Heath

 Tina was raised in a family of four. Moving often as a child of a military parent molded her to see family and community as people she did not know that were never strangers. This former firefighter sees all things as being possible in some way. One of the first interns at Imprintable Solutions was DeAndre Jenkins. He had no work experience, did not appear to be motivated, no high school diploma yet he showed up on time to his internship every day.  DeAndre quickly evolved in learning skills and achieving many successes in his life, so much that in April of 2019 he started his own business. Tragically in June of 2019 DeAndre was murdered. Tina and the Imprintable Solutions family continued to move forward with their pain and grief. DeAndre’s impact had made an imprint on Tina’s heart and she was forever changed.

 From small beginnings come great things.” Proverb

Imprintable Solutions is a for profit business. The profits help to fund the supports and services available to the youth in the Internship program. Tina removes all barriers so help these young people. When they show up to work there is food available to eat and food to take home. A washer, dryer, and shower are at Imprintable Solutions. Funds are used to provide money for Uber, Lyft, and daycare. The dress code is a no boobs or butts showing, just come to work.   Tina was excited because the Community Resource Collaborative, a non-profit located on site, just received a grant to buy a van to provide transportation for these young people participating in the pre-career development. Also on site is the TSM Development company where interns can work and learn the construction trade. There have been times where an intern’s life was in danger. Imprintable Solutions would pay for rapid relocation along with making sure a multitude of supports were in place in the new location. To date thirty-two humans have been relocated to areas that are safe for them so they could make their impact, to evolve, and to grow 

 Maybe we are not here to see through each other but to see each other through.” Unknown

 Through cultivating relationships with community partners these young people, or as Tina calls them her “kids,” other work environments provide supportive work environments. For example, if a young person needs to take care of necessary items like studying for a high school equivalency diploma or making needed calls for appointments, an agreement will be struck. The young person will be given some paid work time to take care of these matters at work. In Tina’s no barrier world there are solutions. She is a member of “CERV” where twenty different organizations in the Rochester area who are fierce in their belief that these young people deserve a chance, gather together to problem solve to determine how to support young people who have incredibly challenging situations. Tina is always looking at how to foster next steps, to use her White privilege to advocate and speak up to do the work to help her kids. The Tina Paradiso model of social enterprise and conscious capitalization is practical. The open hiring model for Imprintable Solutions has shown its success as one by one as these young people thrive in an environment where their needs are met and they are cherished for what they bring to the table.

 Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.” Barack Obama

 I had the honor to meet with Tina at Imprintable Solutions for the Spotlight story interview. As we talked in her cozy office an array of upbeat young people would stop by to ask her for clarification and next steps. A service provider popped by to problem solve for a young person needing financial help, housing, and mental health support ASAP.  Without missing a beat Tina told the service provider Imprintable Solutions would take care of the financial needs to get this young person into a living space and gave information on accessing mental health support. Her rapport and relationship with these young people, her kids, was warm and filled with mutual respect. As Tina took me on a tour of the facility there were smiling faces running machines to create beautifully imprinted items. There was warmth and welcoming filled with productivity and impact. Each item created and sold at Imprintable Solutions holds the stories of Tina and her kids who have worked together fostering next steps, making an impact, and evolving into the next amazing version of themselves. 

 Just like the lotus we too have the ability to rise from the mud; bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world.” Unknown

 Tina Paradiso and Imprintable Solutions is working on fostering other next steps. Tina has been working with other businesses to duplicate or use parts of the Tina Paradiso social enterprise open hiring business model to bring to their businesses. There are proven benefits to people and to businesses with this model. Imprintable Solutions 87% retention rate is evidence of that. As people evolve and change they become happier, healthier, and financially independent. As businesses evolve and change, they become happier, healthier, and prosper so more lives can be impacted. Tina’s revolutionary practical model of impacting lives also builds solid businesses. The impact moves people forward to their goals and dreams. 

 It is with honor and admiration we shine the Kindness Champion Spotlight on Tina Paradiso, President of  Imprintable Solutions. Where no barriers, meeting basic human needs, compassion, love and skills help young people who have been through so much to evolve and make an impact, leaving their own imprint on the lives they touch along the way. We thank you for being you and bringing your awesome to the world.

 For more information about this special business here is their information:

Imprintable Solutions Ink: https://www.imprintablesolutions.com/

Community Resource Collaborative: https://commresourcecollab.org/

Facebook: @CommunityResourceCollaborative https://www.facebook.com/communityresourcecollaborative