A few months ago, when Coffee with Chloe started, I interviewed Emily. We talked about her natural empathy and inherent desire to help others learn to help themselves.
Now, settled into Josiah’s Coffeehouse, Café & Bakery with dark roast coffees and chocolate chip cookies, we’re continuing the conversation.
In 2015, Emily graduated from the University of South Dakota with a media and journalism degree, and a psychology degree. She chose to pursue a career in the former.
“Counseling was something I decided not to do because I didn’t think I could handle counseling,” Emily said. Instead, Emily used her inherent empathy to become a writer.
Emily’s interest in psychology couldn’t be ignored for long; she recently felt called to return to graduate school to become a school counselor.
In June, Emily was accepted into the graduate counseling program at Northern State University (NSU) in Aberdeen, S.D. She’ll receive a specialization in school counseling.
“I like school, whether I’m going as a student or just being in a school in general,” Emily said with a drink of her coffee.
Despite interest in school systems and working with psychology, Emily didn’t feel prepared to enter graduate school for psychology in 2015. Three years later, after overcoming a difficult stretch in her life, entering her position as Click Rain’s content writer and seeing her potential (that we all knew she had), Emily feels ready to return to school.
“Mostly where I work right now has made the biggest difference,” Emily said. “[Click Rain] is a place that’s very openly and obviously invested in your personal and professional development.”
She paused for a drink of coffee and said, “It’s just the first place outside of my home where I’ve had an entire community of people actually devoted to and caring about [me] becoming a better person.”
Emily is eager to take that attitude into a school district, where she can help students recognize their potential.
“The past few years have really shown me just how good a supportive environment can be for you,” Emily said. “It’s something I want to do for people in school because if you do it there, it teaches kids early on how important it is to care about yourself.”
Emily is eager to offer support to students and hopes to alter the stigma around asking for help.
“It bothers me that there’s a negative association with asking for help,” Emily said. “You don’t have to do things on your own.”
Emily sipped her dark roast. “If there’s stuff you’re dealing with, you should always talk to somebody. If you’re in this cycle of thinking you’re not worth anything, you’ll never get out of it if you don’t tell somebody and let them start helping you.”
Emily’s goal is not to be the answer for everyone, but to help them realize that they can help themselves. Emily believes she can provide the encouragement for students to discover self-worth.
“I just want people to know what they’re worth and that they’re important,” Emily said, her hand hitting the table with emphasis. “Even if you don’t know what your purpose is, you need to know that you have one.”
Emily’s ultimate goal is to help students recognize that they have a purpose, are important and that people care about them.
If anyone can do it, I believe it’s Emily.
All my life, I relied on Emily for coffee trips, advice, late-night brownie baking, Netflix binges and countless other things. Every time, Emily gave me the best advice she could and helped me become a stronger person, sometimes without even realizing she was doing it. Emily has the ability to see every person’s strengths and does her best to nurture them, so that people can help themselves.
I don’t want Emily to move, but it would be selfish of me to keep all of her kindness, empathy and caring to myself, because Emily holds the power to help people.
And she’s going to be life-changing.