Born in Tulsa, Lovato’s family also lived in Missouri, Illinois and New Mexico. Raised with three other siblings, Lovato completed high school in Albuquerque and moved to Washington, D.C. to live with her sister. She attended college part-time and worked full-time as a travel agent for American Express. She received a BA in psychology in 1997 from George Mason University. She pursued and completed a master’s degree in social work policy and planning from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001. She worked for the National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health (NCEMCH) as a project assistant and later worked for a local nonprofit in the area of prevention of child abuse. During her master’s program she participated in a clinical placement residential substance abuse treatment and did her concentration work in policy/program planning. She also worked for the Child Welfare League of America in D.C as program manager in behavioral health until 2003. Lovato worked with a policy and advocacy program in California called Children and Family Futures then joined the United Way in Orange County as manager of community investments. She was later promoted to director of community investments working from 2004-2007. She moved back to D.C. working for United Way from 2008-2009. Lovato moved to Colorado when she continued work with United Way, then was hired as Operations Manager at Mi Casa from 2010-2011. Lovato recently completed the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation (Impact Denver, six months program) for emerging community leaders. During her spare time, Lovato spends time with family and is an avid runner.
Founded in 1982 and led by Laurie Harvey, Executive Director, the Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) provides training and support to low-income single parents. Lovato provides strategic leadership, coaching and training to CWEE’s staff. Staff provides financial stability training, self-esteem rebuilding, support to re-enter the workforce and transitioning off public assistance training.
HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE
Lovato was an average student with good athletic abilities that kept her interested in track, cross-country and volleyball. She remembers coach John Haaland as a mentor who helped her set and achieve goals. Haaland was also a great support for Lovato during her parents divorce.
MESSAGE TO YOUTH
“Don’t let yourself be labeled because you are not an A-student. You have potential. Don’t be afraid to take chances, I would not be where I am today if I had not taken chances. Even if you don’t succeed, failure is not bad, there’s a lesson in failure.”
“People that I have met in my life helped me and did not know me so I believe in paying it forward. Think about those around us and reach out to help even on a minor level. Small things can make a big difference. Acknowledge and listen to others.”