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|Graduate Degree: Harvard School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University
Areas of interest: Nutrition in Schools
Mentor: Joan Wallace Benjamin, Executive Director, The Home for Little Wanderers
Agency: Boston Public Schools
Supervisors: Helen Mont-Ferguson, Director of Food and Nutritional Services and Shamil Mohammed, Deputy Director of Food and Nutritional Services
Project Description: Michael Long worked for the Boston Public Schools Department of Food and Nutrition Services to assess barriers to increasing student access to the school breakfast program and recommend actions that the district can take to increase student breakfast participation. Increasing breakfast participation will reduce childhood obesity, improve academic performance, and address the district’s current financial challenges. The project identified strong support among district stakeholders for improving breakfast policies as well as opportunities to address barriers to implementation. Michael will continue to work with BPS to make sure more Boston students start their day with a strong nutritional foundation.
Michael says that the Rappaport fellowship offered an unparalleled opportunity to work in the trenches of local government. The experience gave him faith in the continuing efforts of the many government employees working to make Boston a better place. At the same time, he recognized the fierce resistance to change posed by the history of ongoing government systems. The Rappaport fellowship renewed his focus on leveraging academic research to support leaders within government as they seek to continually improve how systems work for people.