We are thrilled to announce two additions to our grants team at Vista Hermosa Foundation — Jennifer Porter (left) and Jesenia Hernandez (right). Jennifer is our new Program Officer and will focus on stewarding relationships with existing and future grant partners. Jesenia is our new Program Assistant and will focus on all things grants administration. Both bring unique talents and experiences to the team, and we are excited to introduce them to our partners and community.
Jennifer Porter received her PhD in Geography from the University of Washington in 2018. Her research focused on community approaches to address intrafamilial violence, and economic and housing insecurity in Costa Rica. While there, Jennifer worked with a local artist to create two community murals that narrated the history of struggle in the community and celebrated women’s ongoing work against gender-based violence. Based on this work, Jennifer feels strongly that family and intergenerational stories are central to the sustainability of justice movements. She looks forward to continuing this work through the grantmaking process at VHF. Prior to starting her journey in philanthropy, Jennifer taught undergraduate courses related to gender, urbanism, and social change at the University of Washington and Washington State University. She was recognized for her use of practice-based assignments that empower students to be engaged members of their communities outside the classroom. Jennifer moved to the Tri-Cities from Seattle in 2019 with her partner and enjoys reading feminist science-fiction in her garden, making ceramic mosaics, spoiling her two fur-babies, and volunteering with the Arts Center Task Force and Habitat for Humanity.
Jesenia Hernandez recently graduated from Gonzaga University with a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership. Being the first-in-family to attend college, she sees this accomplishment as one of generational impact and change, especially for her 4-year-old son Maximiliano. In 2016, Jesenia joined AmeriCorps to serve her community through Mid-Columbia Libraries. She was awarded the Bronze Presidential Volunteer Award for her service and commitment. After serving at MCL for another two years, dancing, singing, and hosting bilingual story times, she accepted a position as a Communications Specialist at FirstFruits Farms. She recalls that God’s calling is never wrong and being recruited at FirstFruits Farms was a blessed reminder of her roots in agriculture. She finished her educational journey reminded by the reason that inspired it, her long days working in the orchard with some of the hardest workers she has ever come to know. Jesenia loves designing, writing poetry, singing, laughing and voting. Most of all, she loves being a mom and growing together with her husband (high school sweetheart) Julio.
Please join us in welcoming these two amazing women as they look for ways to reach out and connect with you all.