HI, MY NAME IS… Devin DeFendis.

I HAVE LIVED IN SCOTTSDALE FOR TWO YEARS AND I LOVE IT BECAUSE… it’s an accessible city if you like to walk and ride bikes places. I love to be outside; Scottsdale has amazing dog parks and other outdoor amenities. I also love the restaurants and shopping options!

A TYPICAL DAY IN MY LIFE INCLUDES… as the director of programs at Sojourner Center, a local nonprofit, I oversee five programs that help victims of domestic violence—emergency shelter, transitional housing, community outreach, a childcare center, and pet companion services. When I’m not at work I love to spend time with my dog and go to the gym.

MY FAMILY IS… my parents and brother (they live in California), and my dog, Reptar. She’s a 10-pound miniature Schnauzer. I also have an amazing group of friends and a partner, too.

ONE THING I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IS… pasta! In particular, the classic spaghetti and meatballs.
MY FAVORITE MOVIE I COULD NEVER GET TIRED OF WATCHING AND WHY IS… “Legally Blonde.” I grew up watching that movie. I love the main character. She is a strong woman who follows her dream and can do anything.

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I WANTED TO BE… a teacher. In college, I minored in women’s studies and an advisor suggested that I intern at Sojourner Center. This inspired me to pursue a career in nonprofits. In November 2022, I came back to Sojourner Center.

THE SONG I WOULD SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT IS… anything by Beyonce! I love that she’s a powerful woman and many of her songs are empowering as well.

THE ONE PERSON WHO MOTIVATES ME IS… while not one single person, I am motivated by the people we are honored to serve at Sojourner Center. Their strength and bravery in the face of adversity is truly inspiring.

THE LAST THING THAT MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD WAS… a stand-up comedy show I recently saw on a Las Vegas trip with my dad and brother for my dad’s birthday.

THE PERFECT DAY IS… waking up with no alarm, exercising, hanging out with people I love, delicious food from Postino’s, and binge watching my favorite reality TV shows.

MY FAVORITE LOCAL NONPROFIT IS… Sojourner Center. Not only for the services we provide victims of domestic violence, but because of the amazing staff and culture. The work isn’t always easy, but we’re all here working toward the same mission – to support survivors.

THE BEST GIFT I’VE EVER RECEIVED WAS… my family dog, a gift from my cousins, when I was growing up.

MY DREAM VACATION WOULD BE… Lake Como in Italy. I know so many people who have been there and say it’s beautiful and a must-see.

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS… don’t take anything personally; everyone is fighting a battle you can’t see.