Celebrating Women’s History Month – Bea Lovell

New Directions’ Normative Award for Safety is named in memory of Bea Lovell.

Safety can be the easiest and the most difficult norm to ensure. Locks, fire protection and good supervision all help establish physical safety, but emotional safety is more elusive. Bea Lovell made everyone feel safe, both physically and emotionally.

Bea could anticipate a child’s needs (and on occasion her own co-workers) even before they were aware of what it was they needed. More often than not, the need was for evidence of safety and security. Her deep compassion put even the most troubled youth at ease by listening with her whole heart. Bea knew when a child needed to stay up past bedtime to talk about a worry or concern and when a child was just gaming her to get an extra privilege.

Bea was a peacemaker who was skilled at bridging the differences between people. As the unofficial “mother of the unit,” staff would often stay after hours to talk to her about the challenges they were facing, both professionally and personally. Her cottage reflected her gentle ways and the peace and joy her presence created. Most of all, she created a safe place to learn, make mistakes, and grow.