Alumni Spotlight: Meghan Toomey '08 carries on her Elon service involvement at FEMA
Elon alumni brings her service spirit into the workforce by joining FEMA.
Meghan Toomey '08, an Elon alumna deeply involved with philanthropy during her time on campus, currently works in Washington D.C. as a management program analyst for FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Toomey spends her time in recovery analytics creating reports, publications, presentations and providing disaster assistance.
As an Elon student, she was a political science and public administration double major with a minor in international studies in business. She was actively involved with Elon Volunteers and went to New Orleans five times for Hurricane Katrina recovery assistance. Toomey also represented children in court through the local guardian ad litem program and interned for Congressman Doug Lamborn on Colorado on Capitol Hill.
Toomey stayed with her first job at the U.S. Census Bureau on a manufacturing energy consumption survey for a little more than eight years. She organized financial support from Elon to help an animal shelter in Waveland, Mississippi, where she adopted her German Shepard, Guinness. After graduation, Toomey went on to get her master's degree in international commerce and policy.
Toomey was inspired to join FEMA’s organization by the Sept. 11 attacks. She comes from a family of firefighters and felt inclined to start her high school program “Shore 2 Help” where she organized donations of goods and supplies for the first responders at Ground Zero.
After being with FEMA for almost a year she is so touched by the impact she has made in such a short amount of time. "All the crazy hours aren’t a burden because you know the work you are doing is really helping,” Toomey said. “I volunteer to do more hours than required because I want to help the disaster relief.”
The most difficult part of her job is working the helplines. Toomey said that you have to be emotionally prepared for a range of people calling in and trying to help survivors cope with their distress.
Toomey believes that working for FEMA is exciting and unpredictable. “It keeps you on your toes,” she said. “I will never get bored working here because I will always be on different projects and have different states to travel to for disaster recovery. FEMA wants you to personally grow and encourages continuous education.”