Introducing our Advocacy Intern – Janessa Riehle

Hi, my name is Janessa Riehle and I’m honored to spend my second-year practicum at
Empower Missouri as an Advocacy Intern. I’m a current student working towards my Masters of
Social Work at the University of Kansas, with Kansas City being home for me and my family.
I started my career in nonprofit development and event coordination, and then the COVID-19
pandemic was a huge influencer on the trajectory of my career. I began engaging with local
mutual aid efforts in Kansas City to support our unhoused neighbors during the seasonal
changes and knew that I wanted to participate in a larger capacity, which led me to return to

Outside of my studies, I am a proud leader of KC Tenants, and also Board Chair of the Young
Ambassadors Program through the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus. I enjoy
spending time with my sister and my nephew and exploring local parks with my two dogs.
I find deep value in connecting with others and imagining a world where everyone’s needs are
met. I believe in collective action and advocacy as key tools in making our dreams a reality. I
cannot wait to get to work with Sarah, our Advocacy Director, and the staff of Empower Missouri
this academic year.

In your service,

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