Against all odds

As the daughter of felons and growing up in a pub seeing first-hand the detrimental effects of drug and alcohol abuse, Dr Dawn Carpenter knew she wanted something different for her life. Dawn wanted to build a legacy so she escaped through education.

Secretly living in academic buildings on her University campus and not having enough money to contribute less than 20 dollars to her graduating class’s parting gift, Dawn went on to become a successful Investment Banker who spent time at Wall Street powerhouse JP Morgan.

After her “Jamie Diamond experience” in the elevator of JP Morgan’s headquarters in New York, Dawn wanted to find the why completing a doctorate of Liberal Studies at Georgetown University some years later where she researched the responsibilities of wealth and asked the question: What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?

With her unconventional upbringing and having a mother who was the first woman incarcerated in the largest women’s prison in Ohio, Dawn was passionate about being an adoptive mother and had a lot of love to give. Not long after the fall of the USSR, Dawn set off to Russia with cash strapped to her body and bribes in hand to adopt her first daughter, going on to adopt her second daughter a few years later. We discuss the corruption of adoption, the inhumane orphanages, dealing with her children’s severe illnesses and how she has explained the past with her daughters.

Dr. Carpenter’s experience with CDFI’s, working with purposeful companies and her overwhelming desire to do good, it’s little wonder that Dawn is now a leading authority for financial management and the capitalization of social purpose corporations. Dr. Carpenter’s work in business ethics also positions her as a leading authority in socially-responsible business and investment.

Dawn’s story explores the responsibility of wealth, ethics, morals, corruption, motherhood and overcoming adversity.

If you would like to know more about Dawn you can check out her website, follow her on LinkedIn, Twitter (@WDIPpodc) or check out the What Does It Profit website and you can read more at

You can listen to What Does It Profit here

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