UROP Fellowship: DCERP
Research Mentor(s): Katrina McCree, Chief Community Impact Officer
Research Mentor Institution/Department: Neighborhood Service Organization
Presentation Date: Thursday, July 29th
Session: 5:30 – 7:00pm
Breakout Room: DCERP Showcase
Hi everyone, my name is Abby Young (she/her pronouns). I am a rising sophomore at UM, hoping to major in Community and Global Public Health.
I worked with Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO). NSO is a health and human service agency that provides holistic care for vulnerable populations, including those experiencing homelessness. During the COVID-19 pandemic, NSO’s Homeless Recovery Services transitioned from a 24/7 walk-in shelter to an overnight model and began serving 3 meals per day rather than just snacks.
I worked with another fellow, Kirsten Birman, to research food insecurity and find ways to benefit the shelter’s meal service program. I identified local food and meal donation sources as well as shelters across the country to learn about their meal service and social enterprise programs. I introduced NSO to an organization called Make Food Not Waste and helped secure food donations from them for the shelter. Additionally, I created a resource document that identified local food donors, describes the meal service and social enterprise models of 25 shelters, and determines the best practices for homeless shelters based on this research.
I’ve had an amazing time working with NSO, especially Katrina McCree, Chief Community Impact Officer and the HRS team. I’ve loved getting to know the organization as a whole, their leaders, and seeing how much they care about the people they serve, their employees, and especially their interns. It has sparked a greater passion for public health and the health field as well as my desire to serve others daily as a career. I am so grateful for a wonderful internship experience and the impact NSO has left on me.