Zahilay headshot

Emerson Fellow

Girmay Zahilay

16th Class, 2009-2010

Girmay is a 2009 graduate of Stanford University, where he earned a degree in biological sciences. On campus, he served as the president of the Black Student Union, the president of his Sophomore Class, a member of the Spoken Word Collective, a mentor in the East Palo Alto Boys & Girls Club, and a resident assistant for his dorm. He is originally from Seattle, Washington.

Field placement: City Harvest

New York, New York

Girmay documented the obstacles to healthy food access in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, by interviewing community members and analyzing existing data on diet related illness. He also spearheaded the Healthy Corner Stores Initiative in Staten Island, working with corner storeowners to expand their capacity to serve healthier products to low-income families.

Policy placement: RESULTS

Washington, D.C.

Girmay supported the 2010 tax policy campaign by researching and compiling information on various tax reform proposals, specifically policy measures to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and asset-building policies. He also trained and supported new activists around the country to build the organization’s grassroots capacity.