Yari Ijeh is the mother of two children ages 6 months and 4 years old. By day, she is the Director of Development and Implementation at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) with the State of CT. Growing up with many foster siblings in her childhood home, Ijeh turned her personal experience into a professional career. Ijeh taught preschool and has been a social worker with DCF for over two decades. In her roles at DCF, she has advocated for children and their families, giving voice to their needs, and oversees policy changes to improve outcomes while reducing disparities. By night, she’s teaching her children through play.
Ijeh has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor of Social Work from Southern CT State University and a Master of Social Work from Fordham University. Additionally, Ijeh is co-chair of the Progreso Latino Fund and has volunteered with True Colors, which develops programming and services for the LGBTQ+ youth; the New Haven and Hamden Juvenile Review Boards, which gives youth who are first time offenders an alternative to the criminal justice system; and the Shubert Theatre.