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#UpWithHer: North Texas woman turns a passion into her profession

Monica Shortino is the director of social innovation at Capital One, but spent years working in the nonprofit section.

The first in her family to attend college, a North Texas woman is now in a director role at one of biggest companies in the region, helping lead efforts to assist local non profits.

Monica Shortino says a personal setback prepared her for the role she has today. 

“Fate brought me here in a lot of ways,” said Shortino. 

Shortino has put in a lot of hard work to earn the role of director of social innovation at Capital One. 

“It has been an incredible opportunity to say every day I get up and I’m able to make a difference in my community and give back and also do that as a career,” said Shortino. 

On the clock, part of Shortino’s role is to equip nonprofits with resources to scale, so they can impact more lives. 

“When you build programs that scale, you’re able to serve more people. Being able to impact thousands of folks who are in need is really going to make a huge difference,” says Shortino. 

Shortino’s reach continues after hours; she spends a lot of her free time volunteering.

Then came COVID-19. 

“A lot of the work we do is face to face with nonprofits out in the community, so when we had to go to work from home it was a big adjustment and a big pivot for us,” said Shortino. 

But she’s no stranger to setbacks. 

“In high school, my dad went to prison and so my grandparents stepped up and raised me and my sister for that short time,” Shortino said. 

She said their separation didn’t diminish the lessons he taught her growing up, like the value of hard work. 

“Just the grit and determination of turning his life around has really shown me that there are so many incredible opportunities in that journey and just continuing to push forward and build that resilience is huge,” Shortino said. 

That spirit propelled Shortino to get a degree in social work. She spent years in the nonprofit sector. 

“It opened a door of opportunity into corporate philanthropy which was a career I knew very little about,” said Shortino. 

But she understood nonprofit needs; fast-forward 10 years and Shortino is helping build corporate and community collaborations. 

“It’s not only nonprofits working together, it’s public and private partnerships. Almost 70% of our nonprofits are building new collaborations just in the recent time that the pandemic has occurred,” Shortino said. 

Shortino is pushing people to virtual volunteerism, telling business owners and nonprofits to dive deeper into digital programs and marketing. 

“One of the quotes that I love is, ‘in the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity.’ No matter what life throws at you keep moving forward and keep pushing forward,” said Shortino. 

She says rethinking how you do business can make services better and with virtual innovation you can potentially help put people back to work. 

“I hope we take those lessons learned and really grow the work that we’re doing in the community versus going back to our old ways,” said Shortino.