“This office and these people are my new classroom.”

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Education: BA, English; Minor in International Development and Conflict Management; Minor in Spanish, University of Maryland, College Park
Known around the office as: The crafts fan
Recognizable by: Her red hair and oversized sweaters

Emily has this quote on a note over her desk: “The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you can alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change the world.”  A former English major, she is always looking for a good – if cheesy – quote. 

Changing the way people look at reality is part of Emily’s work at the CFSY; she reaches out to potential partners to engage them about how children in our country are treated.  She realizes that she can’t fix all the world’s problems or educate her way out of them, but she does believe that she can change the world for the better, just by helping someone (sometimes herself) see things differently.

Emily joined CFSY in August 2012 as her placement in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a year-long service program that engages in social justice, community, simplicity, and spirituality.  On a day-to-day basis, this means that coworkers buy her snacks to make up for her small stipend and that she is always willing to put aside work for a little while to talk about theology or social justice issues. 

Before she looked through the list of potential JVC placements, Emily had never heard of life without parole for youth.  The extent of her work in criminal justice had been limited to visiting a transitional detention center and talking with inmates.  During high school and college, Emily worked with a number of underprivileged populations, including inner city youth, elderly hoarders, adults with cerebral palsy, immigrants seeking citizenship, people without homes, and families living in poverty.  She also visited El Salvador twice to do international education development and traveled across the United States to build houses for underserved families and individuals.  But she had never worked in the criminal justice or juvenile justice field and was eager to learn more. 

Most of Emily’s broader interest in social justice grew out of relationships she formed with people in the communities where she served and those with whom she served. These people, many of whom she still stays in contact with, are why she works at the CFSY today.