Dr. Paviella Foster,

Dr. Paviella Foster

Chief Program Officer

(she/her/hers, everything respectful)

Dr. Paviella hails from Chicago’s South Side. She began her post-secondary matriculation at Western Illinois University, earning a B.A. in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration. Although Dr. P did not initially intend to work with young people, fate had other plans. After earning her B.A., she worked at an organization where she fell in love with young people. While in the role, she noticed that young people of color were not receiving the therapeutic services they needed. That prompted Dr. P to pursue her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling so that young people would have access to a counselor of color with whom they could identify. 

Dr. P’s dedication to diligently serving in the social justice and youth mental health field spans 11 years. For the last seven years, she has supported young people ages 14-26 who experience homelessness in Chicago and surrounding areas. Dr. P’s approach for working with youth has always been meeting young people where they are. She wants to show them that the little girl birthed in Altgeld Gardens and raised in Englewood got to where she is, and they can do it too! Her method centers on planting seeds in the lives of young people knowing that those seeds will grow as long as you keep watering them.

Dr. P recently earned a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership from National Louis University. In addition to her role at Howard Brown, she currently sits on the Board of Directors for One Roof Chicago. This unique and innovative program incorporates supportive intergenerational housing focused on affirming housing, meaningful connections, and career development for youth ages 18 and older and seniors identifying as LGBTQ.

Dr. P has a heart for scholarship and service and is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She has willingly dedicated her time to community outreach through community cleanups and giveaways, team training, providing non-violent crisis intervention training, and a commitment to speaking up against systemic racism through anti-racist protests in her community. She is the curator of the GRIT  (God. Resilience. Integrity. & Tenacity) podcast, which focuses on the lives and stories of Black people and their healing journeys. Dr. P is also the proud mother of three-year-old Sincere, who continues to motivate her work. 

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