Staff Highlights

Meet Dustin Liu, New Profit’s Learn to Earn Intern

We wanted to take a moment to introduce all of the amazing interns who have joined our team this summer! Meet Dustin Liu, our Learn to Earn Intern!

What inspired you to work in the social sector? What about New Profit’s mission inspires you?

I feel so lucky to have been raised by a mother that is a changemaker. From a young age, I like to say that I was her intern—beside her as she organized and led community-based organizations. I am inspired by the idea that an individual can make an impact on wicked problems in our society, which led me to work in the social sector. My personal values align with New Profit’s mission: the notion that coming together can bring about change, that individuals and organizations can impact our world’s toughest challenges, and that innovation can shift even the trickiest systems. I was drawn to New Profit based on their core belief: a just and equitable society exists, and we need to come together to create it. 

What are you most excited about during your summer at New Profit?

I’m excited to be in a community with like-minded changemakers, and I am humbled to be able to contribute to the meaningful work that New Profit is leading. I’m most excited to learn about the process of systems change. I studied organizational behavior in undergrad, so the theory of systems change is a familiar concept. During my time at New Profit, I look forward to understanding how theory ties to practice. 

Describe a piece of wisdom that you learned in your life, or a piece of wisdom that has been imparted on you by someone who is important to you. How has this idea influenced your life?

When I was a rising junior in college, I had a chance to meet Bill Jackson—a leader in the social impact space who now serves as New Profit’s very own Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Bill shared advice on how to chart a path towards personal and professional exploration. He encouraged me to explore after college—to pursue internships, apply to fellowships and discover the vastness of our world. After that, he advised me to commit—whether it be to a full-time role or a particular industry, he encouraged me to plant roots and learn all that I can. To chart a path forward, Bill advised me to connect the dots between my explorations and my time of commitment and draw on my diversity of experiences. His wisdom has inspired me to take risks, to get comfortable getting uncomfortable, and to honor the process of continuous learning. It is through following this advice that I feel lucky to draw on moments teaching abroad or taking on odd jobs from serving as a Zumba instructor to a graphic designer that help shape my personal theory of change and my views on social innovation. 

What is one of your favorite quotes, and what does it mean to you?

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

— Frederick Buechner, an American Writer and Theologian

This quote has helped me articulate how I understand my personal purpose. The core idea of Frederick’s words is to identify one’s unique potential and to match this potential to the world’s deepest needs. The quote reminds me that we each have the capacity to change the world; the act of meeting our gifts with the world’s needs awards us with a sense of purpose. The work of social impact can come with deep gladness, a feeling I have felt so viscerally when I have been able to bring my strengths to a social problem.