My name is Katherine Jeffreys and I am senior in college from Hunt Valley, Maryland. I am studying political science and sociology at Boston based Gordon College, and hope to go into a career in law and policy. This year I am on the leadership team for Advocates for a Sustainable Future (ASF) at Gordon that focuses on advocating for environmental sustainability. ASF organizes events on campus, implements outreach, lectures, and also organizes an earth week to get other students involved in caring for the environment. I am also an NCAA athlete as I play for Gordon’s Division 3 tennis team. This summer, along with interning at Maryland LCV, I coach youth tennis at Mast Tennis Academy.

I am from Hunt Valley, Maryland, in Northern Baltimore county and I care deeply about the environment. The Chesapeake Bay is a unique body of water that requires advocacy and careful policy. When a body of water is polluted and neglected, such as the Chesapeake Bay, the ecosystems and the people that rely on the food are greatly affected. In a chain effect, when runoff from people and corporations pollute the food sources in the Bay, the water and marine life is harmed, in turn harming those who consume the food. The toxins are spread affecting the overall health of the community and the thousands that depend on this water source for their income.

I am particularly interested in how the food supply can harm consumers by covert labeling and ineffective regulations allowing toxins in food. With a rise in food allergies and other diseases related to a polluted food source, care for the Bay can be recognized as a health policy issue as much as a marine life preservation issue.  The area of research and policy I hope to pursue in the future would include the food safety and security issues. The protection and preservation of the environment directly affects the wellbeing of those inhabiting it. As an athlete, in particular, I have committed to food that is organic and pure. In the future, I hope to write and implement policies that protect and grow organic farming standards, and bring transparency to the American people in how their food is made, processed and labeled as a steward of the abundant creation God has given us.

I have political experience working on the Hill in Washington DC with the honorable Congressman Andy Harris, and campaigning for Delegate Kathy Szeliga, both of whom were steeped in the legislative workings of general policy implementation. An internship at Maryland LCV provides in-depth experience working with environmental legislation. I am very excited to work at an innovative and dedicated organization, with people who truly care about conserving and protecting the environment. As a sociology major, I look forward to exploring issues of environmental justice and the ways that the degradation and pollution of water, air, and food specifically affects racial minorities and those in poverty. I hope to go to law school after graduation and study food security policies. In my internship, I have been doing research into food deserts in Maryland and across other states. I have the privilege of interning under the Political Director, who already in the first few weeks of my internship has shared her vast knowledge of research and her understanding and connection to the state political system. I look forward to continued work on environmental policy and advocacy.