We are excited to announce that we have a new Country Director! Amanda Van Dort is a Sri Lankan American that was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her father is Dutch Burgher and her mother is Sinhalese, both of whom moved from Sri Lanka to the States in the late 70’s for graduate studies. Amanda is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science with Highest Honors. She participated in a Pre-Med program, and focused on Preventative Medicine with a specialty in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation. During her time at college, she was Student Leader on campus, President of the Exercise Science Organization and was an Undergraduate Research Fellow for three years. In her previous job, she worked as a Wellness Specialist for the University of Michigan, and Coordinator of Project Healthy Schools at the University Preparatory Academy in Detroit, Michigan. She worked with students (10-14 years of age) and taught exercise, nutrition and wellness habits. Another portion of her job included working with local organizations to promote health/provide accessibility to nutritious food to an urban population with a high poverty rate. Amanda has a strong personal interest in public health, humans rights, and social justice. She would like to pursue graduate studies in International Public Policy, and work to better Sri Lankan society. Her goals as Country Director include publicity (increasing social awareness) and policy change, as well as the continuation of Emerge’s amazing programs by maintaining and developing new partnerships in the Sri Lankan community.
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