Meet Dewin Hernandez, New Profit’s Portfolio Investments Intern
We wanted to take a moment to introduce all of the amazing interns who have joined our team this summer! Meet Dewin Hernandez, our Portfolio Investments Intern.
What inspired you to work in the social sector? What about New Profit’s mission inspires you?
Early in adolescence, I joined a local community development organization as part of their performing arts center; through the organization, I received a full-tuition scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music—an opportunity that helped me realize my gifts and empowered me to pursue my dreams of higher education. While navigating the throes of higher education as a first-generation college student, I faced many challenges. Despite experiencing a steep learning curve and a lack of mentorship while at Berklee, I was privileged to have the support of my community and family. My involvement in the community development organization at an early age changed my worldview; in my role as a volunteer who provided music instruction and mentorship, I thought deeply about how I want to show up in the world and the kind of impact I want to make in my career. I believe that, through investing in the local community and through designing solutions that promote overall well-being, we can ensure the healthy development of our youth and families.
I joined New Profit because of its commitment to social and racial justice, its holistic approach to grantmaking and capacity building efforts, and its diligence in advancing equity. The scaling of social innovations to drive impact by applying venture capital principles in the philanthropic space is genius! As a clinical social worker and business student, the intersection of VC and philanthropy makes total sense, and I look forward to learning more about the venture philanthropy field.
What are you most excited about during your summer at New Profit?
As part of the Portfolio Performance and Support team, I look forward to learning more about the deal sourcing and diligence process, in addition to the strategic initiatives New Profit currently deploys such as the Inclusive Impact and Systemic Solutions campaigns. I am ecstatic that I have the opportunity to connect with social entrepreneurs and deal partners alike. Most of all, I look forward to learning from the brilliant staff at New Profit.
Who is a mentor for you, and why?
My mother is a mentor of mine, and she inspired me to pursue a career in the social impact space. I like to think I inherited her scrappiness and “hustle” mentality. A phenomenal woman who defied all odds, my mom is the embodiment of self-determination. She immigrated to the United States at an early age, and raised five children all on her own. Despite the challenges of being a single parent, she ensured that each of her children had the opportunity to pursue higher education. Her resilience, strength, and tenacity inspire me. She motivates me to continue leaning into the social impact sector in order to ensure other newly arrived families have access to the resources they need to achieve their dreams.
What is one of your favorite quotes, and what does it mean to you?
Telling the truth should not be a revolutionary act, speaking truth to power shouldn’t be sacrificial, but they are.
I love this quote because it grounds me in my purpose. It reminds me that—regardless of the different spaces I occupy—to pay attention, to be curious, and to be brave. For me, the quote challenges me never to lose sight of the bigger picture or forget who I am or where I came from.