Rosa grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) with a self-designed interdisciplinary degree in Food Systems Policy. As an undergraduate, Rosa served as an Americorps volunteer at the International Rescue Committee, where she worked to increase food access for refugee communities in Baltimore City. She interned for Baltimarket, a community-based food justice program through the Baltimore City Health Department, which prompted her to conduct independent research on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Baltimore City. While studying abroad in Oslo, Norway, she fused her commitment to public service with her passion for writing, publishing several articles on food issues in a national Norwegian newspaper and spending the summer writing for the Oslo-based climate change social enterprise, cCHANGE.
Field placement: San Diego Hunger Coalition
San Diego, California
Rosa completed her field work at the San Diego Hunger Coalition, an organization leading coordinated action to end hunger in San Diego County through research, education, and advocacy. Rosa’s work focused on measuring the impact of various anti-hunger interventions in San Diego County. This involved both quantitative and qualitative research. On the qualitative end, Rosa launched the story collection efforts of the coalition through developing consent forms and questions, conducting interviews, and taking photos. She also worked with a partner organization, Home Start, to support their CalFresh (known nationally as SNAP) application efforts and gather data on thematic case issues.
Policy placement: National Conference of State Legislatures
Rosa completed her policy placement with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the nation’s most respected bipartisan organization providing state legislators and their staff with support, ideas, connections, and a strong voice on Capitol Hill. She supported NCSL’s Hunger Partnership and Task Force on Immigration and the States through research, writing, legislative tracking, and conference planning. She strengthened the Hunger Partnership through recruiting new members and developing regular, ongoing digital communications with its current members.
Hunger Free Community Report
"CalFresh: The Most Vital Anti-Hunger Intervention in San Diego County" provides an overview of food insecurity in San Diego County, highlighting issues unique to the region. Through a data analysis of food assistance sources in San Diego County and a case study of college student hunger, illustrated through stories, evidence is presented that the federal food assistance program CalFresh is the most vital anti-hunger intervention in San Diego County.