Emma Villella

Northern Illinois University

Emma is currently a junior in Nonprofit & NGO Studies (Spanish minor; Adolescence certificate). She is an exemplary student with great insight into the connections between the campus, the community, and the world. Emma's commitment to the community began her freshman year of high school, when she joined the Genoa-Kingston United Way Youth Board. Today, she sits on the Adult Board, where she continues her work with families, learning hands-on about poverty in the local community and the importance of nonprofits. Along with her work at United Way, Emma is involved on campus as a member of Lambda Sigma Sophomore Honors Society and a Student Advisor Council representative. Last year, Emma completed an internship with the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership (DCNP) that joined her campus and community experiences. Working with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), she learned how this nonprofit organization meets the needs of abused and neglected children by giving them a voice in the juvenile court system. She then engaged the community through various events, include CASA's annual fundraiser. Emma is also involved in social activism through her church ministry, giving her a strong understanding of social issues that are shared across the globe.

Lisa Freeman
Acting President
Northern Illinois University

Personal Statement

Community involvement has always been a part of my life, and I believe that my involvement has helped shape me into the person I am today. While I am involved in various organizations, those that have been most impactful are the Genoa-Kingston United Way Board, the Music Ministry at my church, and NicaAngels. Through United Way, I have developed relationships with community members and other local nonprofits. As a Nonprofit and NGO Studies major, I have been able to apply knowledge from the classroom to our board meetings and daily functions. Being in United Way also allows me to aid other nonprofits financially in order to fulfill their missions. In the Music Ministry, I have developed musicianship and built relationships with like-minded people, helping others grow spiritually through worship. NicaAngels is a nonprofit organization that participates in mission trips to rural Nicaragua and advocates for those in poverty through empowerment and education. This organization was influential in my decision to study at NIU and have a career in the nonprofit sector. My involvement in all of these organizations has influenced my life immensely, and I am incredibly grateful to those who have provided support and helped to discover my passions.

Emma Villella
Nonprofit and NGO Studies: Class of May 2019
written 2018

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