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Who Runs the World? Girls! Meet the #ELNC19 MCs

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    EL Education

The 2019 EL Education National Conference (#ELNC19) is coming up this October in Atlanta, Georgia. We’re proud to introduce two student leaders who will become familiar faces at the Conference: our 2019 MCs. Jenaiah and Emerson will guide us through an inspiring program packed with learning. When these two River Bluff High School seniors aren’t leading our conference community from the stage, they’re leading the way to a better world in their own communities. Hear about their work in their own words.

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Jenaiah Callaham

Senior, River Bluff High School, EL Education Network School

Being able to help those who aren’t able to provide for themselves and their families is something that I hold dear to my heart. I have contributed to a better world as an active volunteer with the Salvation Army and “Project Lexington” a local nonprofit. I donate, organize, and distribute food and clothing items to those in need right around me.

The most memorable times have been when I personally deliver items to families, especially during the holidays. It means a lot to create a connection with families from around the Lexington area that I may not otherwise connect with.

“I am humbled to be a part of that important work, and I enjoy every second of it.”

I am honored to be an MC at the EL Education National Conference this year. I feel at home on stage, as the Performing Arts, especially dance, are my passions. I have been a part of performances and companies from a very young age and the experiences have shaped me into the young lady that I am today.

Dance has taught me not only to be confident in myself but has encouraged me to become a leader too. Dance has given me so many opportunities to better myself and I hope to continue my arts education after high school.

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Emerson Fite

Senior, River Bluff High School, EL Education Network School

When I turned ten years old, my mother announced I wasn’t going to keep any of my birthday gifts. She explained that I was old enough to give to others on my birthday and that I should pick a local charity for donations.

My mother helped me do research and ask people for suggestions. I learned about a toy drive happening at The Oncology Center at Richland Children’s Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. I learned that oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer and they needed toys because kids my age (and younger) were having chemotherapy and other serious treatments. I felt strongly that these kids deserved all the toys and happiness I could possibly give.

As I was helping with the toy drive that first year, my own father was diagnosed with stage one cancer. My family’s experience as he went through treatment and recovery only intensified my interest in oncology. As a middle school student, I began working to raise awareness in our community. In high school, I began volunteering, job shadowing, and really connecting with people in and around the Children’s Hospital.

During my time at the Children’s hospital, I was privileged to learn from the staff, but most of all, from the children.

"Five and six-year-olds are wise and have so much to teach us. Spending time with really young kids at Children’s Hospital gave me a different perspective on how to experience life."

They helped inspire me to pursue oncology. I applied and was accepted for a full internship during my senior year. I will shadow a nurse practitioner, learn to analyze blood work, watch bone marrow transplants, and decide if this is something I want to do for the rest of my life. No matter where my future takes me, I look forward to being part of shaping the world and serving my community.