Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program

Kai Kibilko

2024 Brandeis Undergraduate Segal Fellow

Kai Kibilko is a Junior and aspiring researcher at Brandeis University studying Health: Science, Society, Policy, as well as Environmental Studies, Legal Studies, and Social Policy. Kai has lived in Orlando, Kansas City, South Carolina, and Boston, all of which have given them a unique perspective on people's interactions with the built environment and the effects that it can have on our health. Over the 2020-2021 academic year, Kai served as a City Year member in a virtual 3rd grade classroom in Boston. Through this experience, Kai witnessed how certain traditional leadership styles can make people feel unseen and unheard if their individual contexts and circumstances are not valued. Because of this experience, Kai has made engagement and consideration of communities’/individuals’ input a core tenet of their work. If communities and individuals feel seen and heard, they can be empowered to fight for the change they want to see. In the Summer of 2023, Kai started working in the Environmental Health department at BUSPH learning about many of the exposure disparities that populations in the Boston area face, such as excess heat and air pollution. In their career, Kai hopes to engage with populations around environmental health challenges they could be facing in order to have community input be the guiding factor for addressing the problems at hand. As a Segal Fellow this summer, Kai is excited to gain a further understanding of Environmental Health through an organization that shares their vision of community engagement guiding research that supports equity-centered policy initiatives.