My name is Emily Faro and I am a graduating high school senior from Dobbs Ferry, New York. I am interning with EFLI as a part of my senior internship for school. As part of my role, I'll be highlighting other graduating seniors’ experiences with EFLI and their plans for the future! Check out my feature below and be on the lookout for more graduating senior highlights as the summer continues...
I've always been a relatively involved person academically and socially: I play soccer and softball; I run track; I am part of a creativity competition in my school called Destination Imagination; I am in the green club and Habitat for Humanity club at my school; I am on the Model UN team; I am a girl scout. For my senior superlatives, I was nominated “Social Media Addict,” “Biggest Gossip,” and “Teacher’s Pet.” The nominations were pretty hilarious but, undoubtedly, relatively accurate.
When I was a freshman in highschool, I wanted to get involved in my community and build leadership skills. My mother told me about the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute. After applying and getting interviewed, I had absolutely no idea what the program entailed.
I started Activating Leadership in 2011, before my sophomore year of high school. Immediately, I gained a new sets of skills that I never knew I could possess. Most noticeably, my confidence grew exponentially. My favorite experience from that year was taking a sheet of paper, writing the negative and positive things I saw about myself, and then passing around the same paper in a circle of fellow participants who wrote what they saw about me. When I received the sheet of paper back, the compliments were so genuine and caring. They truly made me see myself in a different light. I knew that EFLI had a special place in my heart and that I wanted to participate the following year.
The next summer, I participated in a second-year EFLI program, Leading for Impact, where I created a “deep dive action project” with other EFLI participants. We used Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to address societal pressures faced by adolescents and teenagers. It was a different experience from my first year and made me realize the responsibilities of developing a project. I had an amazing time connecting with the other participants everyday, especially during the retreat. It felt incredible to have close friends outside of my school, clubs, and sports teams.
The summer going into my senior year, I worked as an intern at EFLI. During this summer, fellow interns and I worked together to create a journal called “Drishti: Point of Focus.” The journal-making experience was an incredibly unique one. I learned so much from working collaboratively and creatively with the other participants! When we were feeling stressed, we played games and laughed seemingly forever.
As a part of my senior year, I joined EFLI’s Youth Ambassador Board. As a part of YAB, I helped out at different events such as One Billion Rising and EFLI’s Open House.
I made millions of unforgettable memories while being involved in the EFLI community. I cannot thank the program coordinators, the facilitators, and the fellow participants enough for changing my life. I have become infinitely more confident and creative, especially in environments where I would traditionally feel uncomfortable.
Next fall, I am attending UCLA in Los Angeles, California. I hope to major in political science with a minor in either gender studies or film, television, and digital media studies. I hope to get involved in a sorority, in some women’s organizations on campus and in volunteer work. In the future, I would like to become a lawyer. I can see myself working internationally and hopefully helping women to advance our rights.