2019 – ILLINOIS
Emily "Emmy" Cho is a junior at North Shore Country Day School in Chicago. Emmy is the president and co-founder of the Chicago North Shore Asian-American Youth Coalition (AAYC), which was founded with the vision of fostering communication, empathy, and solidarity among Asian-American youth in the greater Chicagoland area. AAYC meets regularly to organize an annual symposium, fundraise, and continue to redefine what it means to be Asian-American today. In addition to her dedication to AAYC, Emmy has proposed the reconstruction of her school’s Intro to Upper School, a program designed to educate incoming freshman on societally relevant topics with an emphasis on race and racism. As the junior class president, Emmy was repeatedly informed by fellow classmates of the program's inefficiency. Most alarming was the inception of an adverse culture towards discussions about race and racism. Emmy submitted a proposal to faculty members elucidating the importance of fostering empathy. As a member of the Chicago Facing History and Ourselves Student Leadership Team, Emmy has seen student discourse at its best and hopes to bring this culture to her own school. She believes racial discord has its foundation in a lack of knowledge. Enriching Intro to Upper School begins to eliminate that ignorance. Faculty members have responded favorably, and plan to move into reconstructing the program next year. A rising senior, Emmy aims to establish a legacy of purposeful change.