Kortchmar headshot

Emerson Fellow

Sophia Kortchmar

19th Class, 2012-2013

Sophia graduated from the University of Chicago in 2012 with a degree in American history and a minor in English. She coordinated Summer Links, a social justice internship program, and worked with various student-community coalition groups. Sophia interned at the Transformative Justice Law Project, a prison abolitionist project that provides legal services to transgender, gender-queer people and Latinos Progresando, which provides family-based immigration services. She also has teaching experience with Chicago Public School students, adult English-learners, and formerly incarcerated adults, and has been involved in various grassroots direct action struggles.

Field placement: Bread for the City

Washington, D.C.

Sophia worked with Bread for the City’s Advocacy and Community Engagement department to support various client engagement projects within the organization. These included food justice organizing efforts, and the implementation of the “Wellness Space”, a monthly client-led gathering space for people to talk about holistic health and community issues.  She also helped to facilitate several focus groups with peer organizations to discuss strategies for doing systemic change work while providing social services.

Policy placement: Families USA

Washington, D.C.

Sophia supported the Health Policy department on research focused on Medicaid eligibility and enrollment, Medicare policy, and private market insurance, and wrote several fact sheets on these issues for use by state advocates and federal policy makers.  In addition, she helped to develop and implement comprehensive Affordable Care Act training materials for Washington, D.C.’s In-person Assisters, Medicaid eligibility workers, Health Care Ombudsman’s office, and health care advocates and consumers.

Hunger Free Community Report

Social Service and Social Change: Bread for the City in Context serves as a resource for leaders within Bread for the City by collecting information about different advocacy and client engagement initiatives within the organization, and framing them within the context of literature on organizational transformation and strategies from peer organizations.