A math major from Birmingham-Southern College, Mary Elizabeth spent much of her time in college coordinating service opportunities at a variety of community and direct service organizations in Birmingham. She also founded the first student chapter of Alabama Arise, a statewide advocacy coalition that promotes state policies to improve the lives of low-income people.
Field placement: The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
In each of the four counties served by The Food Bank, Mary Elizabeth formed an Agency Advisory Council made up of representatives from Food Bank agencies as well as other community organizations, who are working together on hunger issues in their communities. Also, she worked with another Leland-Emerson Fellow to conduct a study of senior food and nutrition programs in western Massachusetts which will be used by The Food Bank and other service providers to increase and improve services to the elderly.
Policy placement: National Coalition for the Homeless
At the National Coalition for the Homeless, Mary Elizabeth worked with the housing justice policy analyst on the National Housing Trust Fund Campaign, HOPE VI, and HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization. She conducted research, wrote articles, and educated groups and individuals about the increasing need for affordable housing in the United States.