Building a Brighter Future with Fiona and Emma: Introducing Our Dedicated Interns

We are thrilled to welcome Fiona and Emma, our wonderful interns from Indiana University School of Public Health! Together, we’re on a mission to create positive and lasting change, tackling housing challenges, fostering community development, and empowering individuals and families to build a better future. Oh, and we’ll laugh a lot, too!

Their dedication and passion will make a significant impact and we’re honored to have them on board.

Meet Fiona

Fiona is currently majoring in Community Health with a minor in Human Sexuality. Motivated by her passion for assisting those in need, Fiona was drawn to intern at Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County. She finds fulfillment in contributing to Habitat’s mission of providing affordable housing opportunities. Working alongside compassionate individuals, Fiona values the opportunity to help create homes for families in the community for she believes being able to create and have a home at an affordable price is something everyone should have access to.

In her role, Fiona is actively involved in various projects, including the development of Children’s Sweat Equity classes, a unique initiative tailored to Monroe County. Additionally, she is assisting the marketing efforts for Habitat’s social media platforms and is especially excited to work to promote the Habitat ReStore.

For Fiona, home is synonymous with the presence of loved ones. She cherishes the sense of belonging and security that comes from being surrounded by family and friends. Community, to Fiona, represents a collective of individuals residing in the same area who are always willing to offer support and assistance, regardless of the circumstances. She values the spirit of unity and collaboration that defines a strong community.

Meet Emma

Emma is a second-year Master of Public Health student at the School of Public Health Bloomington, specializing in Behavioral, Social, and Community Health and Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Emma’s motivation to intern at Habitat stems from her extensive involvement in the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) during high school, where she developed a passion for construction and repairing homes. Through ASP, Emma appreciated the opportunity to interact with volunteers and families, gaining insight into the importance of safe and decent housing. Her experience working in residence life for the past four years further emphasized the significance of having a built-in community. This background led her to seek an internship that would allow her to engage with Bloomington outside of campus—excited by the prospect of meeting new people, doing meaningful work, and feeling connected to the community.

When Emma’s advisor, Dr. Catherine Sherwood-Laughlin, suggested Habitat, she eagerly accepted the opportunity. Her decision was solidified during a visit to the Kirkwood office in November, where she observed the bustling atmosphere of future homeowners and volunteers, reminiscent of scenes from “Gilmore Girls.” Emma also attended Habitat’s It’s A Wonderful Life screening and after hearing the organization’s opening remarks, she knew she had made the right choice.

In her current projects, Emma is focused on developing classes for Habitat’s children’s Sweat Equity program, organizing activities for a wide age range, and writing grant proposals to secure funding for future iterations of the program. Additionally, she is working on a needs assessment for current homeowners, updating Budget Partner training, researching home repair programs, and compiling local resources for homeowners.

To Emma, home represents safety, comfort, and love, while community signifies a group of people caring for each other. Originally from Columbia, Maryland, she pursued a public health/music minor at Tulane University (’22).