A longtime Midwesterner, Sara Maillacheruvu graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in 2018 and returned to her hometown of Peoria, Illinois, where she spent two years working in community development as an urban planner. While there, she researched affordable housing trends and created policy proposals, relevant and applicable to the local context, for the Council’s consideration. She also led the City's efforts in addressing food equity and disparity in disinvested neighborhoods. Partnering with community members to elevate neighborhood voice, she went after grants and organized fresh food markets with wraparound services to address food access and the social determinants of health with an equity lens.
Field placement: Native American Agriculture Fund
Sara is analyzing Native American Agriculture Fund NAAF's 2020 grantmaking portfolio to identify funding needs and gaps. She is integrating these findings into an advocacy report, pinpointing areas of Native agriculture that are currently underfunded and could benefit from targeted investment by other foundations and/or institutional donors. She also assists in strategic communication efforts and is creating storytelling webpage content for each of NAAF's 180+ past and current grantees.