New AmeriCorps member: Welcome Emily

29 Mar 2024, by Admin in Harvest Blog, Washington state, Making A Difference Foundation (MADF)

Emily Syrjala is the AmeriCorps member serving at The Making a Difference Foundation (MADF) as the Farm to Full Bellies Gleaning & Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator in Tacoma, Washington. The main goal of her service is to increase access to fresh and appropriate produce to food-insecure households, especially those within the BIPOC community by strengthening and sustaining efficient community-based volunteer recruitment and expanding the area’s gleaning capacity.

Emily was born in China and grew up in Seattle. She attended Hiram College, a small liberal arts school in Ohio, where she had the opportunity to double major in Biology and Biomedical Humanities, minor in Spanish and play both soccer and softball at the Division III varsity level. More recently, she graduated with her MPH from the Community Oriented Public Health Practice Program from the School of Public Health at the University of Washington where she played ultimate frisbee with Element, the UW club team.

In addition to her love of playing competitive team sports, Emily is also passionate about environmental justice, athlete mental health and conservation. This unique blend of interests contribute to her holistic understanding of the intersectionality between these passions and public health.

Outside of her service with AmeriCorps, you can find Emily coaching softball at the high school level, playing recreational team sports herself, or listening to her audiobooks. Her favorite vegetable is a pea vine and her favorite fruit is a grapefruit.