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Emma Ghalili ’18 Brings Passion for Social Justice to Volunteer Work
Julian Corbett

Emma Ghalili ’18 spent her sophomore year of college working with two nonprofits committed to promoting equity and fighting injustice in healthcare and education. The CGPS alum, now a junior at Brandeis University, founded a campus chapter of Partners in Health Engage, a nonprofit that delivers healthcare and builds institutions to promote public health in impoverished communities around the world.

As one of last year’s co-presidents, Emma was instrumental in getting the new chapter up and running, planning events to raise awareness about the issues PIH addresses and organizing an effort to lobby members of Congress about health funding. The club also held programming focused on campus life, including a wellness event Emma organized to support students during the stress of finals week.

Emma also started working with Change for Kids, a New York City-based nonprofit that works with public schools to provide resources and educational programs to students around the city. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, CFK launched a new online platform, CFK Digital, where their programming could take on a new virtual life and meet the changing needs of young people in the coronavirus crisis. As a volunteer, Emma has been helping build up the CFK Digital library, recording instructional arts and crafts videos and reading books aloud on CFK’s Instagram livestreams.

Reflecting on her work with both organizations, Emma connected her commitment to working with nonprofits fighting inequality back to her time at CGPS. “I was privileged enough to get a great education that opened up a lot of doors for me,” she said. “I think it is important to make sure that everyone also gets the same opportunities and chances no matter what.” Back at Brandeis for the new school year, Emma and her PIH chapter plan to raise money for a maternity ward in Sierra Leone. 

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