Jovita Belgarde is from the Ohkay Owingeh and Isleta Pueblos of New Mexico and the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Nation of North Dakota. She is passionate about working with Native youth and making positive social change in Native communities. Jovita received her B.A. in Criminology from the University of New Mexico and received her Prevention Specialist Certification from the New Mexico Credentialing Board for Behavioral Health Professionals. Jovita is a board member of Breath of My Heart Birthplace. She has worked in the prevention field for eight years prior to coming to NIWRC, working with Native youth doing violence prevention, suicide prevention, substance abuse prevention, and experiential education.
As Youth Program Specialist, Jovita will continue to work from a strength-based perspective that encourages growth, healing, and intentionality. She believes that youth engagement is key to creating strong healthy communities
"Native youth are our future leaders and they deserve caring support. We should uplift their voices to advocate for their communities and eliminate violence against all of our relatives. Native Love should be a vehicle for Indigenous youth-led advocacy that can drive solidarity, kinship, and anti-violence work for future generations."