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Monday, May 23, 2011

My Humanitarian Hero

Emily was honored by the Youthlinc organization last week for being one of 4 finalists in the Utah 2011 Young Humanitarian scholarship program. She won $1000 scholarship to further her education which is always nice. Below is her bio the scholarship committee used in their blog about the contest. Here is the link to the blog: http://youthlinc-blog.blogspot.com/ Scroll down to the Tuesday May 5th date. There is a great picture of Em with an older couple who were taught the gospel by her and her companion.



Emily Gillespie was raised with a firm belief in hard work and service. As a senior at Timpview High School she began and was president of the HOPE taskforce for three years where she worked with the school social workers and counselors to help at-risk students with depression. This cause was close to her heart as her high school was struggling with multiple young suicides. She made the effort to know everyone’s name in the school and at least smile at everyone she came in contact with. She says, “I just wanted everyone to know that there was at least one person at the school who knew who they were and that they mattered.” Emily also volunteered at Canary Garden Family Grief Counseling Center helping those coping with the recent loss of a loved one. She found a passion for helping others who were suffering through difficult times. After high school she had the opportunity to spend time in Mexico working on projects in two orphanages and building homes for poor families. As a student at Utah Valley University, she spent the summer of 2008 in Uganda with HELP International holding teacher improvement classes, building libraries and adobe stoves and working with children with disabilities and their care takers. She says “that experience changed my life forever as I learned the differences between wants and needs.” Nine months into her LDS mission in Chile the big earthquake of February 2010 hit the country and she was able to help in the recovery efforts in Machali. Since she has been home she has been volunteering with the Service-Learning community at UVU and is one semester away from graduating with an honors degree in philosophy and minors in recreation and community health. Her future plans include graduate school to study to be a recreational therapist and continue to serve.