Luna Shen, a junior at Middlebury College is a student leader active in addressing issues of poverty and housing access. During her time as a student she has been involved in the Privilege & Poverty academic cluster including coursework and an internship with a local non-profit, Charter House Coalition. Luna is interested in food studies and in the future hopes to address issues surrounding food sovereignty and food justice.
Before coming to Vermont, I lived in Beijing, China for most of my life. I saw economic and opportunity disparities in my community. From an early age my mom brought me with her to volunteer at social justice organizations, including a vocational school for children from impoverished migrant families. While in China, I was actively aware of my position as an expatriate with many privileged identities, especially in contrast to the humanitarian spheres I volunteered in. Now living in Vermont as a college student, I am once again an "outsider" in my community. Through continuous reflection on my position within various communities, I have found that the way I can make a positive social impact is by working alongside community members to address the needs they believe are most critical. Since coming to college in Vermont in 2016, I have been volunteering with a local shelter/coalition that tackles home and food insecurity. Additionally, I am passionate about enthusing my peers to immerse themselves in their community through participating in addressing community needs.