Meet our Members - Elizabeth Peña


Hometown: Abilene, TX

Where did you go to college?

I have a Bachelors in Social Work from St. Edward's University (2010) and a Masters of Science in Social Work with a concentration in Community and Administrative Leadership from The University of Texas (2012)

What's your profession?

I'm a fundraiser and I love it!

When did you join YNPN and why did you get involved?

I heard about YNPN Austin while I was in graduate school and starting to search for a job. I went to a couple of happy hours and met a lot of great people from all sorts of different organizations around town. I didn't get super involved at first, but I just kept coming back occasionally to different events and always learned great stuff and met really nice people. One day I decided I wanted to do more than just come and go to events and applied to be on the board so I could start giving back to other nonprofit professionals that way.

My advice to newcomers looking for a nonprofit job in Austin is...

Network! It seems like a basic answer, I know, but it's just so true. There are thousands of nonprofits in Austin but it's still a small network, so who you know may know someone else that can help give you an inside scoop on the details of an open position or clue you in on what an organization's culture is really like from day to day.

Who do you most admire in your professional life?

I asked this out loud when completing these questions and my office mate yelled "ME"! I think she was making a joke, but in all seriousness - it's totally my coworkers. I've been with the Food Bank for four years, so I've seen people come and people go but throughout this whole time, I've always been a part of a team that works hard and also has a lot of fun together. We push each other to do our best work and we also lend a hand when someone is feeling overwhelmed. I'm lucky because thanks to them I'm pretty excited to come to work most days.

What is a skill you'd like to learn and why?

I wish I were fluent in another language, it just really practical and useful. In Texas it would be especially helpful to be fluent in Spanish, I'm only conversational at this point.

What's a perfect day in Austin look like to you?

Honestly, any day spent mostly outside is perfect (as long as I've taken my allergy meds first). I like the Texas heat so I'm looking forward to spending this summer in the sun paddle boarding, running, hiking, going to happy hour on bar patios, etc.


Meet Elizabeth and many more members at our next event!


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