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Jennie Lobato

Jennie Lobato Honoree Profile

Jennie Lobato is the founder and CEO of drawchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering children from lower socio-economic circumstances through art therapy-based programs.

As a first-generation American living in the inner city of Jersey City, NJ, art was Lobato’s outlet during her formative years —a way to cope with life’s stresses and turmoil. As a child of Uruguayan immigrants, she had as much urgency to blend in as to tightly cling to her heritage. It was a challenge to learn to juggle the different cultural pressures, feeling forced to assimilate. Art gave her the space and capacity to process and learn to make sense of the dichotomy she was living in.

Lobato earned a scholarship at the prestigious Maryland Institute, College of Art, where she would cultivate her skills and be hired at a reputable advertising agency – leading a fulfilling life until she realized 10 years later, that she was not living her true passion. It was at that time she began to reflect on what she loved most: art, children and helping others. Understanding the impact of the arts on her own adolescence, she felt compelled to grant the same gift to the impoverished children of the world, launching drawchange in 2009.

Through drawchange, Lobato has empowered more than 14,000 children to channel their creativity to overcome the circumstances they were born into, escape to anywhere they want to go and see that they can attain anything they can dream imaginable.

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