Johnson headshot

Emerson Fellow

Amy Johnson

16th Class, 2009-2010

A northern California native, Amy graduated from Willamette University in 2008 with a degree in sociology and a minor in Spanish. She has researched the distribution of emergency food in the Willamette Valley and coordinated social justice projects at the Office of Community Service Learning.  She also studied abroad in Chile, where she researched the intersection of indigenous and Chilean culture in rural public schools. After college, Amy joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and taught elementary school on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana.

Field placement: Bread for the City

Washington, D.C.

Amy worked to improve the experience of clients who visit Bread’s food pantry. After conducting customer surveys and researching best practices at other organizations, she designed a client choice model for the pantry; visitors now have the opportunity to choose the food they take home. She also worked with the Healthy & Affordable Food for All Coalition and assisted in the launch of the D.C. Food For All blog, which focuses on food security, gardening, and local food policy.

Policy placement: NETWORK

Washington, D.C.

Amy conducted a study on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program that includes surveys and interviews with recipients, eligible individuals, and organizations that administer social services. The report analyzes TANF’s strengths and weaknesses, with the goal of educating policymakers in advance of reauthorization.