Leuchten headshot

Emerson Fellow

Donna Leuchten

16th Class, 2009-2010

Originally from Poughkeepsie, New York, Donna graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 2009 with a degree in sociology and a minor in faith-justice studies.  She served as a Service Scholar and Poverty Awareness Week committee member, tutored GED classes, and was active in Back on My Feet, a running club promoting the self-sufficiency of those living in homeless shelters.  Donna also provided SNAP application assistance for patients at local public health clinics with the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger.

Field placement: Hunger Task Force

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Donna evaluated the impact of the School Supper program in the Milwaukee Public School District’s after-school programs. She collected information from staff, children, and parents, examined the structure of the program, and studied “plate waste” issues. She also educated community organizations about the ongoing modernization process of FoodShare (local name for SNAP) in Milwaukee County.

Policy placement: National Coalition for the Homeless

Washington, D.C.

Donna worked on the Homeless Civil Rights Organizing Project to document hate crimes committed against homeless individuals. She also moderated speaking engagements with NCH’s Faces of Homelessness Speaker’s Bureau designed to break down stereotypes about homeless individuals. In collaboration with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Donna co-wrote a report on local ordinances governing homeless feeding policies around the country and presented the results to national partners via webinar.