Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Rachel graduated from Vanderbilt University with a double major in environmental sociology and community leadership and development. During her four years in Nashville, she spent her time working on sustainability and food justice projects on campus. She also volunteered and interned with nonprofit organizations throughout the city, focusing on issues ranging from homelessness and housing to food insecurity to workers’ rights. She participated in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington, through which she explored issues of environmental justice biodiversity conservation within communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. From these experiences in Nashville, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond, she has developed a better understanding of how poverty, food justice, and environmentalism intersect.
Field placement: Hunger Free Colorado
Rachel completed her field work at Hunger Free Colorado in Denver, Colorado, where she developed a best practices guide for SNAP Outreach partnerships in rural Colorado. In creating this guide, Rachel listened current and future partners from various sectors and communities to learn about the needs and barriers associated with SNAP outreach and enrollment. The final guide aims to increase the effectiveness of Hunger Free Colorado’s partnerships and help these partners increase SNAP enrollment in their communities.
Policy placement: National Homelessness Law Center
At the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Rachel produced materials on racial justice and homelessness to support the organization's external racial equity work. Internally, she implemented a racial equity organizational assessment survey for staff, to advance the conversation and create a better understanding of the Law Center's needs and opportunities. She also collaborated with the newly-formed racial equity committee to search for training and consulting services.