40 Under 40 Class of 2018

Marianna Litovich

Founder and Board President, All Our Kids Inc.; Research Manager, UMass Donahue Institute; Age 38; Education: BA, Wesleyan University; MA, PhD, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Marianna Litovich

Marianna Litovich

Litovich is a parent, community psychologist, and civic-minded organizer. In addition to founding All Our Kids Inc. in 2017, she is a foster parent ambassador for the Department of Children and Families and a board member of the Massachusetts Alliance for Families, a statewide advocacy organization. After a decade as a mental-health clinician and professor, she now partners with community and state agencies to improve support programs for families. She and her partner were named Massachusetts Foster Parents of the Year in 2016, and recently received the Champions for Children award from the Child Advocacy Center of Hampshire County.

What did you want to be when you grew up? As a child, I loved babies, and wanted to be a pediatrician when I grew up. But that changed in college as I consistently attempted to succeed in pre-med courses that just didn’t spark my interest, let alone any joy.

Who has been your best mentor, and why? Once I realized what attracted me to medicine was people, I shifted my vision toward a career as a clinical psychologist. But I was just as interested in issues of diversity, justice, and policy. My mentor at the time, Dr. Regina Langhout, steered me toward doctoral programs that balanced the individualized, medical perspective of clinical psychology with the activist, justice-oriented perspective of community psychology. She saw a spark for community leadership and advocacy in me before I knew it was there. She was right, and I’ve been so grateful for that guidance.

What are you passionate about? Although I maintained a foot in the clinical world for years, it was never a great fit, and I often considered the ways my clients’ lives could be more permanently improved if we strengthened the communities to which they belonged. Now, my professional expertise as a social scientist, passion for child-welfare advocacy, and experience as a foster/adoptive parent come together in the work of All Our Kids Inc. To me, there is no greater feeling of success than knowing your efforts are making a positive difference in others’ lives. As All Our Kids Inc. continues to strengthen and serve the foster and adoptive community in Western Mass., I see more children in foster care having the forever families they need to thrive and succeed.

Photography by Leah Martin Photography