Today, we are honoring Emma O’Brien, ECB’s 2016 VP of Service. Due to COVID-19, the graduating class of 2020 was unable to experience traditional graduation celebrations and ceremonies. ECB interviewed each member of the 2016 senior leadership team to get a sense for how Enloe Charity Ball impacted their journey through college and how they will continue to be #AlivewithPurpose.
What position did you hold?
Vice President of Service!!
What university are you graduating from?
East Carolina University
What degree are you graduating with? Are you graduating with honors? Feel free to share GPA or honors designation.
Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration; Minor in Sports Studies. EC Scholar & ECU Honors College. Graduating Summa Cum Laude GPA 4.0.
What’s your favorite ECB memory?
There are SO many incredible memories from ECB, but I would have to say probably the Mini Charity Ball that we held for the kids at Learning Together. Charity Ball itself is SUCH a fun and rewarding night for everyone at Enloe and in the Raleigh Community, but bringing the fun of Charity Ball to the kids at Learning Together was one of my favorite days!
How has ECB impacted your life? How has it influenced your next move after college?
Most definitely! I always knew that service was important to me, but I never knew how much I wanted service to be a continued part of my daily life until I was involved in ECB. Service has come to be one of the main “pillars” in my life, and I continue to look to serve others in any way I can. I think specifically, working with Learning Together really impacted my future endeavors. I decided to dive deeper into looking into the opportunities for youth and the barriers for low-income youth, specifically in regards to participating in sports. It has been such a rewarding process to help families identify the barriers they are facing and work with local organizations to try and alleviate these barriers and give equal opportunities to all families in the Greenville Community.
Are you involved in any service organizations and/or student government? Elaborate.
At ECU, I served on the Honors College Student Council for all 4 years, serving as the Vice President for a year. I knew I wanted to stay involved in Student Council/Government in some capacity, and the Honors College Student Council seemed like the best fit to me. I loved being able to incorporate service and leadership into my life in college and share that with my community.
What are your future plans career-wise?
What a big question…. I am not 100% sure yet. I am graduating in December 2020 since I took the semester off last Fall to intern for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, so I have a little more time to think about it/complete applications. Right now, my number one thought for future plans is possibly joining the Peace Corps before heading to grad school to study International Relations and then hopefully get back into the Olympic Movement!!
Do you have any advice for future ECB leaders?
I would say to really stay present in the moment and get as involved in the organization as possible. It is so easy to get wrapped up in everything going on during your senior year but ECB is truly something that you’re going to miss. Focusing on the needs of the selected organization makes this opportunity so much more rewarding. No matter what the check says, you are raising a LOT of money for this organization, that they are going to be thankful for. So I would definitely say to focus less on the money and focus more on how you can fully integrate yourself and the Enloe community into the organization to make an impact in the present moment. That is really what made my ECB experience super special!