This summer, ELCA World Hunger welcomes three new interns to our team at the churchwide office!

Anna Smith- Hunger Education
annaHello! My name is Anna Smith. I come from the town of Osceola, Wisc. I am will be a senior this fall at Concordia College. I am studying Global Studies-Development and Psychology. This upcoming year will be busy for me as I serve as the Social Justice Coordinator for Campus Ministry Commission and the Co-Service Lead for Better Together Interfaith Alliance. A fun fact about me is that I actually spent my first year of college in San Antonio, Texas, at Trinity University.

I have always been passionate about social justice issues but that really came to the forefront of my life after I spent the fall of my junior year on the Social Justice, Peace, and Development Program in India. We intensively studied class inequality, food insecurity, and the implications of war, among other things. It was during my time in India I saw the world’s great need for justice and I committed my life to working towards that in every way I can. That commitment along with my deep Lutheran faith is what led me here this summer.

I have spent the past three summers of my life working at Luther Point Bible Camp in Grantsburg, Wisc. I am looking forward to this summer and finding new ways to live out my faith in a different environment. I love the big cities and I foresee enjoying living in the Windy City very much so. Although I haven’t been to Chicago since I was in Elementary school –way back when Willis Tower was still the Sears Tower. I can already tell my time here will be one filled with adventure, learning and spiritual growth!

Jennifer (Jenny) Sharrick- Constituent Engagement

jennyHi everyone, I’m Jenny! I am so absolutely thrilled to be the newest constituent engagement intern. In my life outside of Chicago, I am a master’s in public health student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. My concentration is focused generally around Maternal and Child Health, but my specific passion areas are domestic rural food insecurity and hunger, as well as reproductive health and comprehensive sexuality education. My undergraduate education focused on biopsychology and religion. Then I took a quick detour to medical school, before landing in the amazing field of public health.

My call is somewhere in the intersection of medicine, ministry, and justice. And while I am still discerning exactly what that means for the future, continuing my work with ELCA World Hunger seemed an appropriate fit.

My work within the Church has been varied, but bountiful. I have served as an intern in a parish for youth and young adult ministry and Campus Ministry Associate for Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry at Hastings College. I have also been on my synod’s hunger team for several years now. Additionally, I am a member of the ELCA Young Adult Cohort which went to the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women this past March.

Service learning and volunteering have been integral to my background (my Dad is so proud to say that my very first meeting with a service organization was within a week of my birth). This has taken on various forms over the years. One organization I am especially proud to be associated, offers free chlamydia and gonorrhea testing and treatment as well as reproductive health education to inmates in the county jail (unfortunately the county where I currently reside has an epidemic associated with both of these STIs). While that likely doesn’t sound all that appealing to many of you, the men and women I have met have had a profound impact on my life and have taught me much more about life than what I’ve learned in the classrooms of medical school and public health. Empowering and educating people to make the best health decisions for themselves has truly become a passion of mine because of this.

In my spare time, I love spontaneous dance parties and going on adventures whilst wearing my sequined fanny pack. My seven-year-old goddaughter likes to tell everyone that my favorite color is “glitter” and I have a special affection for beautiful shoes.

Ben Brown- Fundraising

benHi my name is Ben Brown, and I am the ELCA World Hunger Fundraising Intern and I will also be working some with the ELCA Malaria Campaign. I am a rising senior year at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio in the fall studying
Religion and Political Science. I come to Chicago after spending the spring semester studying in Washington, DC with students from other Lutheran colleges where I interned with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) as the Public Policy and Fundraising Intern. When not at Wittenberg, I call Indianapolis home.

I am passionate about issues of social justice, specifically hunger and food justice and the ways in which faith can play a role in that work. At Wittenberg I spend my time in Weaver Chapel with Campus Ministries and in the community through my work in our community service office. Through my experiences in Springfield’s community gardens and Promise Neighborhood and with Wittenberg’s CROP Walk I have come to learn a lot about the realities of hunger and the ways communities come together to end it. In the future I hope to pursue a career in advocacy, but first hopefully a year with one of the many service-year programs, like LVC!

For fun I have recently discovered a love for the Indy 11, Indianapolis’ soccer team. I also really love eating and look forward to exploring Chicago by way of its food.

I am really excited to be with ELCA World Hunger this summer and hope to learn a lot and grow while I’m here!