Kenyon DeVault, Master of Nonprofit Administration '16
Become a Nonprofit Leader from Here
"San Francisco has all the energy and vibrancy of a world-class metropolis, but is small enough that you can build a close-knit community. Walking down the street of my neighborhood feels like a small town with familiar, friendly faces all around"
For Kenyon DeVault, MNA ‘16, USF is helping him turn his passion for social justice into a leadership role at a nonprofit organization.
Kenyon DeVault’s dedication to community service and social equality was instilled in him at an early age, so it’s no surprise he has spent most of his professional career in the nonprofit sector. It was when he wanted to put himself on the path to an executive leadership role that he found himself in the Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) at the University of San Francisco (USF).
“The MNA program just fit perfectly into what I needed and wanted,” he said. “It allowed me to stay in the Bay Area, continue to work for an organization I love and see my own values reflected in those of the university.”
DeVault credits his values to his mother, who is a devoted Quaker. “My mother’s beliefs positively influenced our family values; I was raised with a deep-seated belief in the fundamental worth of all humanity, a commitment to social justice and the understanding that my actions should reflect my ideals,” he said. “The nonprofit sector inspires me daily and speaks to my deeply embedded commitment to social change and value-driven work.”
As a Bay Area native, DeVault credits his commitment to San Francisco’s social justice-oriented community as the reason he has stayed. “San Francisco has all the energy and vibrancy of a world-class metropolis,” he added, “but is small enough that you can build a close-knit community. Walking down the street of my neighborhood feels like being in a small town, with familiar, friendly faces all around.”
Since USF has one of the few MNA programs in the Bay Area, DeVault has really been able to put what he learns into practice in his job as a Bay Area Donor Relations Manager for education oriented nonprofit, Summer Search.
The MNA program is designed for working professionals,” he said. “We have the opportunity to use what we are learning immediately on the job and use our developing skill sets to improve the organizations we work with. Everything we learn is immediately applicable.
DeVault gets to see the benefits of his education every step of the way in his career.
“I feel much more knowledgeable about leadership and management issues at my organization,” he said. “My coursework at USF has provided me with tools and research-based knowledge to support my conversations with my organization's senior leaders, my board members, and my donors to help my organization develop the resources and infrastructure we need to bring our transformational program to more students than ever before.”
DeVault’s experience at USF also brought him together with his cohort. “I love my classmates in my MNA cohort,” he said. “We bring a diverse range of professional and personal experiences to the table, but are passionate about our field and have similar drive to succeed - while helping one another along the way.”
Looking forward, DeVault wants to continue to grow and turn his passion into leadership.
“My goal for this program, and for my career as a whole, will be focusing on the skills and knowledge that will help me successfully scale up effective programs and to help organizations grow within environments defined by limited financial resources,” he said. “With USF’s help, I believe I can become the kind of leader who takes promising practices in organizational management and uses them to ensure that pioneering social initiatives transform lives.”