The current version has been updated.
Sarah Leone, a sophomore social worker, is a member of RESULTS, a non-profit organization that is concerned with ending world hunger in poverty in the U.S. and all over the world.
Leone decided to sign up with RESULTS when an application appeared in her email. Since then, as one of the only applicants for her district, she received the fellowship and is finishing her last year with the organization.
Before leaving, she decided she wanted to make a difference by going to D.C. to speak with Democrats and Republicans in order to try to convince them that programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Affordable Care Act should not be cut.
“I am not naïve," Leone said. "I know there is issues with SNAP and ACA, but I believe that it is worth fixing it rather than just scraping it and the poor not having anything."
Approximately 52 million, or 21 percent of people in the U.S. participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month, according to a 2015 Census Bureau report. These programs included Medicaid and SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program.
RESULTS has had success before with talking to politicians, and Leone is hopeful to bring change yet again.
“Even if they do not vote for this, they know we are not going to back down,” Leone stated.
For Leone, helping people has been something she has always cared about. Not only did her family benefit from the use of SNAP, but they are involved in the business of helping people. Her father is a social worker and a priest who helps males who are in drug rehabilitation programs, and her mother sells insurance.
She said the experience has shown her confidence and that a voice can make a difference if you know what to say.
“They work for us," Leone stated. "We don’t work for them.”