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Romanita has understood and lived rural and urban poverty firsthand. She knows the power that positive programs can make in a seemingly hopeless situation. With a creative knack for storytelling and technical expertise, Romanita is comfortable in events and settings ranging from faith-based to corporate to universities.
Romanita has spent nearly two decades working with individuals and families living in under-resourced communities. She has seen the power of positive relationships, supportive families, and strong community systems in improving the lives of children.
She believes in the power of collective action to reduce poverty and build a better world for children. Romanita leads the U.S. programs division of World Vision with a conviction that “we all give back by starting where we are with what we have to achieve sustainable solutions to poverty here and around the world.” She has dedicated her life, professionally and personally, to improving the well-being of children.
This drive to “give back” has led to over 15 years of service with World Vision’s domestic programs. An academic all-star in college, Romanita was accepted to law school and into a Ph.D. program, but her heart was calling her to help children change their lives. Her first opportunity to follow her heart came through a program she started while still in college that provided tutoring and mentoring for high school students.
After joining World Vision, she continued working in her local community, serving on boards as a youth leader and children’s programs director. In her role at World Vision, Romanita has served as director of KIDREACH, World Vision’s elementary-age intervention for urban and rural children. The program provides family and academic support and mentoring. She later became the executive director for all of World Vision’s work across Washington state. This included leading the first pilots of a long-term community-based development strategy designed to foster long-term sustainable community-based solutions.
Today, she leads World Vision’s work to improve child well-being in the United States. With operations in both rural and urban U.S. locations, she is responsible for leading the organization’s national focus on raising awareness and responding to issues of child well-being in the United States. This includes overseeing programs that empower children and youth, as well as the annual distribution of more than $61 million in donated goods and partnerships with more than 3,500 organizations that serve more than 2 million beneficiaries. Romanita is a national spokesperson on issues of child well-being for universities, conferences, churches, national television stations, and radio programs.
Romanita holds two bachelor degrees from the University of Washington, as well as an MBA emphasizing leadership in non-governmental organizations from Eastern University of Philadelphia. She currently serves on the board of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, Kids In Need Foundation, and Renaissance Leadership Group. She teaches, preaches, and speaks regularly on issues related to leadership and justice, community development, youth development, economic development, biblical justice, and God’s heart for the poor.