School did not always come easy to Emma. Growing up severely dyslexic with moderate ADHD, Emma had trouble liking school. “I felt like I had to work harder than everyone else to find what worked for me. Once I figured that out, I really liked going to school, and they were all super supportive.” At Central High School, Emma is an upbeat, outgoing student who is actively involved in sports and supports her classmates at games and events. In 2018, during junior year when her teacher, coach, and mentor, Ryan Bott, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, Emma took action and helped set up a benefit for him and his family. At the event, Emma was with her close friends who had graduated a few years prior, and they introduced Emma to Hayley Moe and talked about how helpful she was to them in their senior year. 

During her senior year when she got stuck on her college application, Emma knew she needed to visit the Future Center, and from there a solid relationship was built between her and Hayley. Emma frequently spent her release period in the Future Center working on her applications, FAFSA, and scholarships in addition to talking about things that were fun and uplifting. “I know friends who went through the college application process and they really struggled. I learned I could email her and get an answer in like 30 seconds. I could talk to Hayley about more than just college stuff, like different things that came up in my day. It was a nice break from school for a little bit, if I needed that. We did a lot of scholarship applications too.”

Emma will navigate her next adventure at the University of St. Thomas. She plans to study exercise science or biology but is really looking forward to being a student-athlete as a member of their track and field team. She leaves this advice to students, “Use the Future Center as much as you can because Hayley helped me so much with financial aid, scholarships, college application stuff, and writing essays. I feel like I had a really smooth college application process. Hayley taught me to use my resources and to help with my essays when I was stuck. She also pressured me into filling out scholarships. I don’t think I would have filled out a single scholarship besides the Central scholarship without Hayley telling me to do it.”