A Master of Social Work graduate of the School of Social Policy & Practice, Devon M. Hernández also holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Fullerton. Before attending Penn, he worked with the Prison Education Project, constructing academic outreach and career development lectures for inmate-students in one of California’s state prisons. Devon spent the summer of ‘15 in Washington, D.C. as a Policy Intern for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, where he worked alongside Senior Advisors to create public-private partnerships with stakeholders, linking together key individuals and organizations from across the country to increase awareness of educational inequalities that persist in the Latino community.
His research interests include the intersection of programs that promote college access and retention methods within historically underrepresented groups. He is currently a College & Alumni Coordinator, serving as both a college level counselor and coordinator of college scholar and alumni services at Project GRAD Los Angeles (PGLA). PGLA’s array of programs and services are designed to increase access to, readiness for, and graduation from college for first-generation, low-income students. His passion is helping communities become empowered through programs that increase economic opportunity and mobility.
“The education I received as an MSW student helped deepen my understanding of the complex systems that oppress various populations within society. As a macro social worker, I am continuously learning how to navigate within these systems to ensure the individuals I work alongside are empowered to challenge the very systems that are designed to oppress.”