Lyons headshot

Emerson Fellow

Sarah Lyons

16th Class, 2009-2010

Field Placement: New York City Department of Health (New York City, NY)

Sarah worked with the Healthy Bodegas Initiative to reduce disparities in healthy food access.  She created a toolkit for the Adopt-a-Bodega program, which connects community organizations and schools with neighborhood bodegas to make healthy changes in the food environment. In the South Bronx, Central Brooklyn, and East Harlem, Sarah organized cooking demonstrations and conducted store surveys, store owner interviews, and a community food assessment with high school students to increase community involvement in the program.

Hunger Free Community Report:

Re-imagining Bodegas:  Stories of Community Involvement in the Healthy Bodegas Initiative describes the Adopt-a-Bodega process and offers three case studies illustrating the successes and challenges of the program in the South Bronx, Central Brooklyn, and East Harlem. 

Policy Placement: The Justice Policy Institute (Washington, DC)

Sarah authored a policy report examining how poverty and other socio-economic factors contribute to high rates of incarceration. She prepared a literature review and analyzed data on substandard housing and homelessness, education, youth development, wages and unemployment, access to health and mental health care, and policing and its relation to public safety and incarceration. The report focuses on Washington, D.C. as a case study and employs information culled from interviews with local community and criminal justice advocates.

Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:

Born in Singapore and raised in Indonesia, Italy, and Illinois, Sarah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in anthropology and peace studies and a minor in gender studies. She fought for workers’ rights with the Campus Labor Action Project, helped lead a campus feminist organization, studied in Spain, and served as an assistant teacher for ESL classes.  She has also interned as a field organizer for Interfaith Worker Justice in Chicago and the National Organization for Women.