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Distinguished leadership, commitment to service earn Khegan Meyers the undergraduate Brittain Award
profile image of Khegan Meyers

Communities within Emory and around Atlanta have felt the impact of Khegan Meyers’ service, earning him the undergraduate Marion Luther Brittain Award for 2024.

— Photo by Sarah Woods, Emory Photo/Video.

Khegan Meyers is no stranger to service.

Originally from Temple Terrace, Florida, Meyers and his four older siblings were raised by their father, who practiced employment law for more than 20 years. His father represented a variety of individuals, ranging from whistleblowers to people who were harassed by management, all in an effort to protect them from discrimination. From an early age, Meyers heard all of it since his dad was a sole practitioner who worked within the family home.

“His office was about 10 feet away from the kitchen, so I’d be washing dishes and overhearing how he talked to his clients, how he made sure they were okay in the moment while also encouraging them that their situation was worth talking about,” says Meyers. “I think that had a profound influence on me. I take a lot of inspiration from my dad.”

Meyers’ father also imparted the importance of civic engagement to him at a young age.

“Growing up, my dad and I had a lot of civically engaged conversations, and I think that kind of created a lot of interest in community engagement for me,” says Meyers.

Eventually, those conversations turned into actions. Meyers ran for vice president of student government in fourth grade.

“I lost, however, so it didn’t start too early,” he laughs.

It planted a seed, though, that would continue to grow. In high school, he was a member of the debate team and participated in student government for his second, third and fourth years, eventually serving as senior class president.

Now, as he prepares to graduate from Emory, Meyers is the outgoing Student Government Association (SGA) president and will be earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Goizueta Business School as well as a degree in political science from Emory College of Arts and Sciences.

A visible leader across campus

Meyers wore a lot of hats during his time at Emory, but they all focused on a service-first mission.

During his first semester on campus, he got involved with College Council, serving as a legislator for Emory College. During that stint, he introduced pronoun provisions into governing documents. Also during his first year, Meyers organized and hosted a town hall with campus COVID-19 coordinators to create a forum for student feedback on campus testing and gathering policies.

During his second year, Meyers served as a ranking member of SGA and chaired the Student Life and Transitions Committee. The following year, he served as a BBA legislator, maintained his ranking member status and was a member of both the Student Concerns and Finance committees. Then, in March 2023, Meyers was elected SGA president for his senior year.

Meyers presided over many projects and initiatives as SGA president, but two in particular focused on his passion for health access and equity.

Working with Sharon Rabinovitz, a physician and executive director of student health services, Meyers advocated for health-access vending machines on campus that will include emergency contraception and other reproductive care items. Just a few weeks before graduation, these machines gained the approval of Emory administration.

“These vending machines will go a long way as preventative care,” says Meyers.

The second project, which Meyers will hand off to the incoming SGA administration to continue working on, involved recommending that Emory leadership amend insurance regulations to expand coverage for underinsured students and students with out-of-state Medicaid.

“Medical costs can be debilitating for some,” Meyers says. “What we’re advocating for is to fully fund a program to help eligible people get enrolled in student health insurance for no cost. We want to make sure it’s really easy for students to access coverage.”

In her support letter for his Brittain Award nomination, Rabinovitz wrote, “It is evident that Khegan is passionate about social justice, health equity and access which were foundational elements of these projects … His commendable approach is to lead, support his team and engage in meaningful ways to get the work done as a servant leader model.”

Meyers’ service-minded mission wasn’t limited to his participation in SGA.

He served as treasurer of his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, during his second year at Emory, and then as president during his third year. Also in Emory Greek Life, Meyers was selected as Interfraternity Council Vice President.

Leaning on his early interest in civic engagement, Meyers was an organizer with Emory Students for Students, helping strategize charter and tax-file efforts for its mutual-aid mission. The effort has distributed $10,000 to date and supported a campaign for a $15 campus minimum wage by conducting research across the institution.  

Combining his passions for civic and community engagement, Meyers served as a legislative aide for Rep. David Wilkerson in the Georgia House of Representatives, conducting policy research and reviewing committee hearings. He brought his civic engagement to campus by working to increase access to and interest in voting on campus through the Emory Center for Civic and Community Engagement and with Young Democrats of Emory, boosting voter registration and staffing voting locations on campus.

Meyers also worked as a fellow with Emory’s Community Building and Social Change program, advising municipalities, local nonprofits and developers on future policies and the expansion of services to 1,000+ immigrant-owned small businesses along the Buford Highway corridor of metro Atlanta. He credits this experiential learning opportunity as a core part of his Emory experience, bringing Emory’s teachings into practical applications in the Atlanta community.

Planting seeds for the future

What effect does Meyers hope he had at Emory?

“I hope it’s a legacy of inspiration and recognizing that hard things are possible,” he says.

Meyers remembers telling his SGA colleagues that it’s like planting a tree with fruit that you will never get to taste.

“I think the same analogy goes to things contributing to the community,” he says.“People here don’t even have to know I planted the tree. You may not see recognition in the moment, but when you come back in a few years, you can point at something and know you helped with that effort.”

Looking ahead, Meyers plans to step into a full-time role at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Meyers spent last summer with the company, where he worked as a business analyst. During his internship, he leaned into his interests in health and community well-being by advising a strategy to accurately document patient conditions for 1.3 million new Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan enrollees.

Though Meyers is the undergraduate Brittain Award recipient, he is quick to say the recognition wouldn’t have been possible without the people who supported him at every turn.

“Some of these efforts may have had me as the face of them, but I’m just one part of the team,” Meyers says. “I always want to acknowledge that these projects that I’ve done have been supported and strengthened by many people.”

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