School of Professional Studies

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


School of Professional Studies

Chief Instructor

Mary Piecewicz


In the summer of 2019, I had the privilege of serving as an AmeriCorps member with an organization called Equal Heart. One of Equal Heart’s main initiatives was to provide meals to children in underserved populations, to make sure that without school in session, these children would still be receiving food. Unfortunately, in many instances, without these meals, many of the children we served would likely not know when they would be eating their next fulfilling meal. There were certain pockets of Dallas that we would travel to everyday, places that were fifteen minutes maximum from my house, but places that felt like an entirely different planet. These areas included many different locations in West Dallas, and also pockets of Northeast Dallas. Seeing these impoverished neighborhoods, and then driving back to my neighborhood, I was shocked at how vast the differences were. I live in North Dallas, in a predominantly white neighborhood where there is an abundance of parks, grocery stores, shopping centers, and recreational centers. In the areas that we served, there were not as many resources, recreational areas, or healthy grocery or dining options.



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