Emma Murphy is still in high school, but she’s already working to change the world.
The Althoff Catholic High School junior is trying to create an inexpensive method of purifying contaminated water to help people who don’t have access to clean drinking water.
This school year, Emma has been working on an algae-based filter that could feed on the natural toxins found in wastewater and produce up to 10 gallons of water per day, the high school stated in a news release.
I not only wanted to do something to help, I had to do something.
Emma Murphy, Althoff Catholic High School student
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Emma first got the idea over the summer when she attended an international event called World Leadership Congress, which encourages young people to become leaders. It was there that she learned about the issue of access to clean water.
“I was so horrified that a mass of people are deprived of the most basic human necessity. I not only wanted to do something to help, I had to do something,” she said.
Emma has even been contacted by a university professor who wants to partner with her on the research, according to Althoff.
She has also recently gained the attention of the National Catholic Educational Association.
On Wednesday, an association representative traveled to Belleville from Washington, D.C., to recognize Emma’s effort to change the world. She is one just of 10 students in the United States to receive the Youth Virtues, Valor and Vision Award.