Lavender was born in Homer, Alaska. She was raised in the small town of Seldovia, Alaska and worked summers on a salmon net fishing operation on Kalgin Island, Alaska. In 1990 she moved to Telluride, Colorado and lived there during the winters and traveled by van through Canada to Alaska every summer to fish.
Lavender has received her Bachelors of Design and Merchandising from American Intercontinental University in Los Angeles. She moved to Jacksonville in 2004 to take care of her brother’s dog while doing he was completing his second tour in Iraq as a Navy Corpsman. Upon moving to Jacksonville she began working as a prep cook at a wine tasting restaurant where she worked her way up to executive chef in just two years. After 7 years she decided she was unfulfilled and wanted a career change.
She left the Grape to return to college to complete her master’s degree in Social work. She wanted the opportunity to work with children and found Girls Inc. through a mutual friend. After pursuing the organization she was hired as an after-school staff member. The following year she became a facilitator in the GirlSMART after-school literacy program. She was offered the Program Director position by the end of the school year.
In 2014 she worked with staff to completely redevelop summer camp to combat the summer learning loss experienced by many girls. Lavender has worked diligently to expand the GirlSMART program from two to seven sites.
In 2015 she was offered the Director of Programs position. Lavender’s passion for our mission is fueled by her upbringing and the desire to instill STRONG, SMART and BOLD qualities in every girl.
100 Festival Park Ave. Jacksonville, FL. 32202 Phone: (904) 731-9933 Fax (904) 731-9934