Lizzie Lee ’20
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Minor: English, Inequality
I work with my community(ies) to address … the homelessness crisis and unaffordable housing, respective to how they are confronted by unique communities.
My friends would say I’m … optimistic, balanced with a cynical streak.
Fun fact about me: I like to eat vegetables straight from their superior source — a can.
The best part about the community-engaged leadership program is … meeting and building relationships with like-minded Cornell students who want their school experience to be beyond the Cornell bubble. Also money — financial support cannot be beat.
For my Stage 2 committed project, I … worked with the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County to support funding and conduct a program evaluation of their Emergency Housing Fund Program that will be used to advocate for policy changes in favor of flexible financial (FF) assistance at the local and state level.
With the resources from Cornell, we raised over $4,500 through community project grants for the emergency shelter’s rent subsidy program that provides one-time financial support to prevent homelessness for survivors and reduces the length of stay in the domestic violence shelter. This program assisted 21 women and children in securing livable and permanent housing by providing back rent, security deposits and residual payments. By the end of July 2018, this program had saved the county around $77,000 in shelter costs. These impressive results were included in the program evaluation that will support a report for legislators and funders to sustain funding and implement FF assistance broadly.
My community partner(s) taught me … institutional change can take a lifetime and beyond; but the mundane, everyday interactions and goals are where radical growth and life changing happen.
I’ve also learned that engaged leaders … have really good taste in music.
Other projects and organizations I’m committed to include … Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County, Continuum of Care in Tompkins County, Tenant Support Working Group, Homeless and Housing Task Force, and Cornell Alternative Breaks.
I plan to continue my journey as an engaged leader by … growing from my successes and failures every day, knowing that I have incredible networks of support behind me.
Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership
Build on your interests and apply your experiences (from courses to extracurricular activities) to this program to develop the skills you need to be a community-engaged leader.