MICHELLE DeGRATE, LMSW
MISSION ADVANCEMENT | DEVELOPMENT
A seemingly inherent advocate for the underprivileged, underserved, and underrepresented segments of society, Michelle considers her career a purposeful calling and her education and career path has been innately reflective. Impacting thousands of lives throughout North and Central Texas, within the sphere of child welfare, her social work practice comprehensively spans from direct practice, client directed case management, and crisis intervention to nonprofit administration, development and programmatic executive leadership. The initial years of her career were dedicated to advocating for at risk youth through her work at Child Protective Services and Lifeline Children and Family Services. She started with Christian Community Action in 2008, and it was there that the culmination of life altering client encounters through direct service, bringing hope, changing lives, alleviating suffering, and an incessant desire to do more that fueled her rise into nonprofit leadership.
After effectively contributing to the acquisition of a grant that provided $2.2 million in housing support to families in need, she was promoted to Sr. Grants Executive, where her passion for people, inherent problem solving skills, and consummate storytelling ability directly impacted a 350% development growth. Uniquely equipped with proven competencies in, the often polarized, programmatic and fundraising expanses of nonprofit administration, she was named Vice President of Programs at CCA, the cornerstone of Homelessness Prevention and Diversion in Denton County in 2014. As a servant leader, she defined her success by the number of lives impacted and people improved daily by authentic and invested encounters with one another, anchored to her core belief that relationship is the most effective change agent.
In 2017 with this belief that Michelle, began with African American Youth Harvest Foundation in July 2017, as the Director of Development. Originally from McGregor, a small town in central Texas, Michelle moved to the DFW area to attend the University of North Texas and after 15 years has relocated to Austin,TX . She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor 2016 of Social Work Degree and a minor in Sociology. Michelle then earned a Master of Science Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Michelle is a devoted aunt to her two beautiful nieces who live in Wylie with her twin brother and sister-in-law. In her free time, Michelle enjoys camping, hiking, outdoor concerts, museums and antique or thrift shopping.