Emma Jackson – Ohio Nomination & Photography by Laura Esposito Photography Issue 61 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Emma is hardworking, determined, and always has a smile on her face. Emma does not always giver herself credit where it is due, but she makes a difference in the lives of those around her. Emma wants to see herself as the strong, responsible, and beautiful girl that she is. Emma is active in the Aultman Ambassadors Program, the Hope Squad (suicide prevention), Mentorship, National Honors Society, a Buckeye Girls State Representative, and tutors elementary students after school. Emma is also in the drama, science and history clubs.
Photography by Laura Esposito Photography
What is the Aultman Ambassadors Program and what is its mission? The Aultman Ambassadors Program (AAP) aims to make Stark County Schools the healthiest in the state of Ohio by the year 2032. We strive to improve the health of our youth and our teachers to allow everyone to be the best version of themselves. Throughout the year, we host many different challenges that center around promoting health and positive habits, and we offer prizes for the winners as an incentive to participate. We also hosted a community dog walk, and plan to be involved in a community color run.
What are your roles in it & what do you love most about being a member? As members, we help our advisor come up with ideas and plan these ideas. We are always looking for something new and fun to get people excited about improving their health. I love being a member because it shows that you can make a difference in how people view themselves and their habits, and it doesn’t take much to do so.
Why is the Hope Squad close to your heart? Hope Squad is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program in which the members are nominated by their peers as someone they feel that they can talk to in a time of need. We want to raise awareness of suicide and reduce the stigma around mental health. We also serve as an emergency resource to those in our community who are struggling and don’t know how to get help. This program is very close to my heart because we were given the opportunity to directly impact our peers’ lives. The most important gift anyone can receive is the gift of hope, and I’m proud that my community trusts me to do so.
What is Mentorship and what is a favorite memory from it? Our mentorship program involves juniors and seniors volunteering to travel to the middle school with the goal of making a difference in the lives of the seventh graders there. Growing up is a challenge for everyone, so we want to show these kids that they have support within their community and that they aren’t alone. A favorite memory I have is from our teambuilding visit where we were doing the human knot activity. Every single girl had a smile on their face, and it was amazing to see that we were making a difference.
Photography by Laura Esposito Photography
How did you find and why did you choose Laure Esposito Photography for your photographer? Many of my friends from the class of 2022 had Laura as their photographer and absolutely raved about her. I also followed her on Instagram for a few years, and I never saw a bad picture. I was sure that she would make my portrait session magical, and she did!
What was your experience like? What did you love most about it? At first, my experience was a bit rocky. We had planned to shoot all my pictures outside, but it was raining and gloomy. Laura was so sweet and rescheduled for a few days later with no problem at all. She made me feel beautiful the entire time she was shooting. She also had a reveal session, which made the experience more fun due to the anticipation building up. All my pictures were gorgeous, and she was a delight to work with.
What has been your favorite service project in National Honors Society? My favorite service project in National Honors Society has been weaving homeless mats out of recycled plastic bags. We ask students and teachers to bring in their plastic bags instead of throwing them away. Then we cut them into strips and weave them into mats which will be handed out in bags to be given out to help the homeless during the winter.
What does it mean to be a Buckeye Girls State representative and why is it important to you? Being a Buckeye Girls State representative is very important to me. I was the only girl from my high school to attend, which was an honor. During my time there, I learned so much about our government, elections, and voting, but I also met so many girls that I will be lifelong friends with. It was amazing to be able to talk to so many like-minded people, and it was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had. I think it is important for girls and women to be educated and able to use their voices, which is what this program taught us all how to do.
Image by Hailey Jackson
What do you tutor elementary students in and what is a favorite accomplishment from this? I tutor the students in any subject they may be struggling in. Usually, I help them with math or reading homework, but we also study for tests, practice spelling and reading, and work on projects together. My favorite accomplishment from this was helping a fifth grader study for a test she was very worried about. She has five older brothers, and all of them are very good at math. She wanted to make sure that she did well enough to impress her family, and she ended up getting a perfect. I was so proud of her, but more importantly, she was proud of herself.
What has been your favorite character to play and why? My favorite character to play has been Angela Angel in the play Curtains! She is a little too confident in her skills as an actress, but it is so fun to portray her sass and attitude. Her personality is much different than my own, so I enjoy getting to act differently than I usually do. Every character in the play is hilarious, so I would have been happy with any role, but I have grown to love Angela.
What about the history club makes you question where we are today? On a day off from school, the history club took a trip to the MAPS air museum. Although the main focus is aviation, they have many artifacts and outfits from people who are from Ohio and have fought in wars. They also have a medical tent fully set up as it would be during battles. It was very informative and eye-opening, and it gave us an inside look of what our veterans have gone through to protect us. Without them, America simply wouldn't exist.
What else would you like to talk about? If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be? I would love to talk to my peers about how they can help themselves and others who are struggling with mental health. It is very important that everyone understands that they are never alone and never will be. There is always hope that can be found, and anyone can make a difference.
Look for Emma in issue 61 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!