Emma Carley, 16, was born in South Carolina. Emma is the daughter of military veterans, Tammy and Lewis Carley.
Before moving to O’Fallon in 2006, she also lived in Michigan and Virginia. In 2011, Emma and her family moved to Pennsylvania for one year due to work demands. Emma’s parents decided that O’Fallon was by far the best place for her to grow up. They moved back in 2012, confident in a good community for their family.
After attending numerous schools, Emma has learned to adapt to many different types of learning environments. This has taught her to adjust quickly to different methods of teaching.
In order to seek a higher education, Emma challenges herself by taking difficult classes. She does this knowing it will challenge her. So far, she has maintained As and Bs throughout her high school career.
Outside of the classroom, Emma joined the cross country team her freshman and sophomore years. She juggled cross country while also dancing at Dance Station. Emma danced for five years and enjoyed it tremendously.
This past year, Emma decided to cut back on activities and make her physical health a priority. She still dedicates some of her free time to help manage the girls cross country team. She is also a member of the Friends of Rachel Club, and HOPE (Help Open People’s Eyes). After participating in the spring 2017 HOPE retreat, Emma was chosen to be an officer, due to her generous character and love for helping others. Being an officer allows Emma to help run the retreat with other officers.
Emma’s involvement in various activities has had a profound impact on her growth. They have taught her to identify with and care for others on a whole new level. These characteristics have helped her to be a positive contributing member of her community and school.
Emma is a volunteer at the Belleville Humane Society. She helps nurture and take care of the the cats and dogs there during her visits. This includes cleaning cages, running events, walking the dogs, and playing with the animals. She shares a connection with each animal at the shelter. Nothing makes her more happy than making each animal feel loved.
In 2010, Emma’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. This inspired Emma to begin collecting Yoplait Yogurt lids for the “Save Lids to Save Lives” program when she was only 10. This program exchanged yogurt lids for money toward breast cancer research. This was only the beginning of her journey to help find a cure. Emma partook in her first Susan Komen race in 2013. She solicited her friends to participate and raised around $100 doing so. Each year she participates, the number of people she brings and money she raises increases. This year was different; Emma created her own breast cancer awareness team and ended up raising $500 toward research for a cure. Emma is passionate about spreading breast cancer awareness and will continue to participate and raise more money for years to come.
When Emma was 8 years old, she started going to Camp Ondessonk, a summer camp located in the Shawnee National Forest. After going to camp for a while and being a good role model to younger campers, Emma was inducted into the Loyal Lodge of Ondessonk and Tekakwitha. Loyal Lodge is an honor society for campers and staff alike who have shown their loyalty and dedication to camp in an exemplary way. Through fundraisers or service, all members of the Royal Lodge strive to give back to the Camp Ondessonk community and act as ambassadors of Ondessonk’s values and camp spirit in their daily lives.
At Camp Ondessonk, Emma has completed the Counselor in Training Program (CIT). The CIT program is a two-week leadership development session designed to prepare participants for possible future counselor positions. Participants in the CIT program return home more open-minded, self-aware, and motivated to give back to their family, school and community. Through the program, Emma learned numerous leadership skills and strategies. Working with children having various personalities and special needs has allowed Emma to become a more well-rounded individual.
Emma’s unconditional love for Camp Ondessonk has helped steer her in the direction of choosing her career. Her love for the outdoors and nature conservation has heightened her interest in studying environmental geology after high school.
About the Miss O’Fallon Pageant
Date: Friday, July 28
Place: O’Fallon Township High School Milburn campus auditorium.
Time: Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the pageant will begin at 7 p.m.