Emily Jansen, 17, is the daughter of Neil and Vicki Jansen of Shiloh.
Emily is the oldest of three children and has lived in Shiloh since she was 17 months old. She attended St. Clare Catholic School in O’Fallon from kindergarten through eighth grade and went on to attend O’Fallon Township High School, where she will be starting her senior year and will graduate in May 2018.
Emily is a very dedicated student and works hard to succeed academically. She has shown that you can still be involved in several extracurricular activities and participate in other events outside of school, while still being able to excel in the classroom. Emily is a member of the National Honor Society and German National Honor Society. She was also awarded the commendation toward the Seal of Biliteracy for high proficiency in the German language. She has received the OTHS Scholar Athlete Award for the past two years.
Emily also enjoys being involved in extracurricular activities to meet new people with similar interests and help people in the community. She is a member of Friends of Rachel Club, Wellness Club, German Club, and the OTHS Varsity Golden Girls Dance Team. These activities have taught her about what it means to be a leader and that helping others is a great way to bring people together.
As a member of the OTHS Golden Girls Dance Team, Emily has had a very fulfilling and memorable high school experience. Throughout the yearlong season, the Golden Girls march in parades with the OTHS Marching Band and perform at football games, basketball games, competitions, and other community events. They also have the opportunity to work with young girls in the community by hosting a camp for kids each summer, where they not only provide dance instruction, but also serve as positive role models for these young girls. Emily has had the privilege of being a captain of the junior varsity squad her freshman year and is currently a captain of the varsity squad for her upcoming senior year.
In addition to dancing for the OTHS Golden Girls, Emily has been dancing for 14 years at Taylor’s Academy of Dance in O’Fallon and has participated in solo and group competitions in pom, lyrical, and tap. Emily has also been taking piano lessons at 88 Keys Academy in O’Fallon for 10 years. She has had the opportunity to teach piano lessons to students at 88 Keys for the past four years and enjoys sharing her passion for piano and music with her students. Emily has had the privilege to play piano at two weddings and has shared her talent by playing piano at community events to raise money for a local food pantry and at holiday events to benefit those less fortunate in the community.
Emily has been a member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Shiloh for 17 years and feels that her deep faith has had the biggest influence on her life in helping to build strong moral values. Staying active in her church has given her life changing opportunities and experiences. As a member of the Corpus Christi Youth Group, she volunteers each year at a trivia night to benefit an orphanage in Uganda, plays bingo with the residents at Cedarhurst Retirement Home, and participates in other fundraisers at church throughout the year to benefit those in need in the local community. She has volunteered each summer as a leader for young children at vacation Bible school and has been a group leader for the Luke 18 retreat, which helps to prepare eighth-grade students for high school. She has also been involved at Mass as an altar server, lector, and guest pianist.
Emily realized at a young age the importance taking an active role to help others in the community. At 12, she came up with the idea and organized the first Holiday Hilltop 5K Run and Walk to raise money to benefit one of her close friends who was battling a serious medical condition. This has become an annual event and has raised more than $137,000 over the past five years. Each year, a different young person from the O’Fallon/Shiloh community being treated for a medical illness has been chosen as the beneficiary of this event. This annual event has taught Emily that helping others is a really good feeling and can inspire others to do the same and spread more positivity throughout the community.
Emily is the recipient of several awards that exemplify her positive attitude and good character. She has been honored twice as a St. Louis Region “Do The Right Thing” finalist. In eighth grade, she was chosen as the recipient of the American Legion Award for displaying the qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship, and service. Emily was also chosen to be inducted into the Loyal Lodge of Tekakwitha and Ondessonk. This is an honor society at Camp Ondessonk, a Catholic camp in the Shawnee National Forest, that teaches kids the meaning of teamwork, dedication, perseverance, and leadership that Emily attended for five summers.
Emily loves meeting new people and helping those in need which has inspired her desire to become a speech pathologist. After high school, she plans to attend Saint Louis University or Butler University to major in communications sciences and disorders. She then plans on attending graduate school to study speech pathology. Her goal is to either work in a school setting with young children with developmental delays or in a nursing home or rehab facility to help stroke patients or those with underlying neurological problems who have speech or swallowing difficulties.
Emily would be honored and humbled to represent the O’Fallon community as Miss O’Fallon. She wants to be a positive influence and role model for young girls in the community and show that you can achieve anything with hard work, perseverance, and a positive attitude.
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.