Emily Garland

From Jenison, MI

Highschool: Jenison High School

Class of 2017
Future Alma Mater:
Aquinas College

Independent Student of the Day

Emily Garland is a senior at Aquinas College studying international business and Spanish. She enjoys traveling and studying cultures. Last fall, Emily studied abroad in Spain for three months, during which she visited Morocco, France, Italy, Portugal and Germany.

Volunteerism and teaching are priorities for Emily, as demonstrated by her work as a volunteer teacher for Junior Achievement (J.A.), which allows her to instruct the students about both business and community. Likewise, she puts her Spanish language studies to use in her work as a teacher in a bilingual classroom.

Emily also is the president of the Aquinas College Enactus chapter, which she considers her greatest accomplishment to date.  Enactus is an international nonprofit organization with chapters in universities across the globe. These chapters work to solve problems in the community through entrepreneurial action.  The Aquinas College Enactus chapter tutors low income GED students, donates leftover food from the school cafeteria to those in need, and raises funds to build wells in Africa. 

Enactus holds regional, national and international competitions in which chapters compete with each other based on the effectiveness of their human service projects.  The last time the Aquinas College chapter actively competed was before Emily became a college student and, at that time, it was no longer recognized as an official Enactus chapter.  When Emily took the Aquinas Enactus reins, she had the chapter reinstated, and through hard work and determination, the team was ready for competition within two months with a fully developed, well executed presentation of their project. The Aquinas team went on to become regional Enactus champions, enabling them to compete at the national level. This was a major achievement for Emily’s team; they now are preparing for this year’s competition.

My motivation

Through Enactus I have had the opportunity to see students make real change in people's lives. I believe even one person can make a difference and I am working to make that difference.

My latest accomplishments

My latest accomplishment is becoming a member of the Student Advisory Commitee (SAC) for Enactus. This is a group of student leaders in Enactus selected out of the United States chapter. We work as a voice for the students and help to make changes in the organization to benefit students. I was selected to be the Great Lakes Liaison, so I will be working with chapters in the Great Lakes Region to help any way I can. I was very honored to be part of the SAC and cannot believe that I am now a leader in the Great Lakes Region.

Next big goal

My next big goal is to get my team ready to compete at Enactus regionals. I am working to bring another Regional Champion title to Aquinas.

Why is choosing your own path important?

Unless you go against the flow and choose your own path, then you will not make a difference in the world. I saw someting (Enactus) with great potential and chose to help it to grow even when it would have been easy to let it die out. I have been networking with other chapters and leaders in the organization to find ways to help my team and help people. I have had research and learn things quickly. As a result, I have found my own path and through it I am changing lives and helping people see the leaders they can be and the impact they can have.

Favorite place on campus

The Moose

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