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    My Nonprofit Journey: Yessenia Hoyos

    Associate Program Analyst

    My name is Yessenia Hoyos, and I have been working at Charity Navigator for over a year and a half. As an Associate Program Analyst for the Finance & Accountability beacon, I work with my team on researching and developing the methodology for the beacon, running ratings for charities, and reviewing nonprofit financial documents and organizational reports to determine how well-run nonprofits operate. Working with such an impressive and talented team has made my time at Charity Navigator invaluable. We are always finding new and creative ways to improve our research and analysis.


    I never considered a career in the nonprofit sector while attending Rutgers University. Since I was also working full-time, I mainly focused on doing well in my general education classes. At some point, I thought there would be a class or professor that would spark my interest in something; however, I never expected my job to introduce me to the nonprofit world. At the time, I was working as an assistant for a well-established family in New York City. I happily accepted when they asked if I would be interested in coordinating and working with their fundraising team on a benefit gala they hosted. That decision changed everything, and being a part of such a massive event opened my eyes to the type of work possible in the nonprofit sector.


    Thankfully, Rutgers was one of the few public universities in my state with a Public and Nonprofit Administration degree, so from then on, I hit the ground running. My instructors and peers were committed to making the world a better place, and being a part of that program gave me a sense of purpose and the possibility that I could improve the lives of others in my work.

    Yessenia and dogs

    After I graduated, I started working as a Program Development Manager at a nonprofit for low-income high school students in New York City, Student Sponsor Partners. I was in charge of pairing students with mentors, checking their academic progress, and meeting with academic staff to find ways to improve student learning outcomes. Also, as the only Spanish-speaking employee, I focused on helping first-generation, Spanish-speaking families. I never thought I did much, but the thanks I would get for translating a school document, being present during a parent-teacher conference, or simply taking the time to call, listen, and respond to these families made an impact. It was my first nonprofit job after college, but I saw first-hand the hard work it takes to run an organization and how everyone in it can make a difference in a person’s life.


    I’ve experienced the same feelings at Charity Navigator and am proud to work with this ‘small but mighty team.’ I’m always amazed by my colleagues' dedication to their work, and their bright and curious minds push me to work harder, think outside the box, and not lose sight of what we are here for, making impactful giving easier for all.