Three recent graduates earn service scholarships

Three recent Johns Hopkins graduates have received prestigious scholarships and will immerse themselves in the service work of organizations around the world. Ally Hardebeck and Olivia Chan have received Emerson National Hunger Fellowships, which challenge fellows to seek solutions to hunger and poverty in the United States. Eduardo da Costa has received a Boren Scholarship, which supports the study of languages and areas of the world considered critical to U.S. national security and requires one year of service in the U.S. federal government.

Composite image of Olivia Chan, Eduardo da Costa, and Ally Hardebeck

Image caption:From left: Olivia Chan, Eduardo da Costa, and Ally Hardebeck

As Emerson National Hunger Fellows, Hardebeck and Chan will work for five months with a community-based organization in the U.S. After their field placement with community organizations, the fellows will spend the remaining seven months of the program in a second placement with an organization in Washington, D.C., where they will work on national anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy. Throughout the fellowship, they will hone their policymaking and grassroots organizing skills and take part in trainings, retreats, and professional development sessions.

A May 2020 graduate who double-majored in public health and sociology, Hardebeck is devoted to combating poverty through holistic urban planning that brings together multisector stakeholders for collaboration. Beyond her coursework, she has researched and analyzed urban poverty at the Johns Hopkins Poverty and Inequality Research Lab, focusing on housing issues and neighborhood investment strategies. At the Baltimore City Department of Planning, she aided efforts to develop economic stabilization strategies for neighborhoods at risk of decline. As a research intern in the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, she focused on anti-poverty policies that prioritize racial equity in black-majority cities. She is a volunteer and president of the JHU chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and she has served as a mentor with Thread throughout her time at Hopkins.

Chan, who graduated in December with a degree in public health studies and a minor in social policy, served as an intern at the Franciscan Center of Baltimore, where she connected clients to local social services and helped manage the center’s volunteers and donations. During a second internship with the center, she studied how clients navigate the challenges of homelessness, recovery from substance abuse, food access, and mental and physical health. As a food policy intern at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, Chan researched how states including Maryland approached food insecurity through their policies. She is currently working as a health care policy intern at the Century Foundation in Washington, D.C., where she researches maternal health disparities and legislative developments related to the Affordable Care Act. While at Hopkins, Chan devoted her free time to community service through Alpha Phi Omega, serving as fellowship chair and volunteer coordinator.

Through the Boren Scholarship, da Costa will spend four months advancing his fluency in Portuguese in Maputo, Mozambique, as part of the program’s African Flagship Languages Initiative. A May 2020 graduate who majored in medicine, science, and the humanities at Johns Hopkins, da Costa is keenly aware of how public health concerns, and particularly infectious diseases, pose national security threats to the United States. He hopes to study these and other health care issues while in Mozambique, and he will pursue an internship in the country’s National Institute of Health. He later plans to pursue a position with the United States Foreign Service or the United States Agency for International Development.

While at Johns Hopkins, da Costa served as a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins Cardiology Laboratory and worked as a manager for Johns Hopkins Student Movers. He also worked as a clinical technician at the Waring Vision Institute in South Carolina. He regularly takes part in community service projects on campus and in Baltimore, including the Johns Hopkins President’s Day of Service, Charmify, and volunteering at the Maryland SPCA.

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