By Christopher Diaz
The following is the second installment in a series of stories written by the 10 talented participants in the 2022 Hofstra University Summer High School Journalism Institute, from July 11-22. In this piece, Christopher Diaz, of Uniondale High School, profiles Emma Prashad, of Elmont Memorial High. All participants were asked to write short biographies on one another as an opening exercise.
Emma Prashad, a rising Elmont Memorial High School senior, describes her hometown of Elmont as “non-judgmental” and “hardworking,” a quiet neighborhood where a large number of low- and middle-income families are striving to provide their children with a safe upbringing and an outstanding education.
Prashad, 16, is constantly involving herself in and seeking to improve her community through various recycling and food pantry projects with Elmont High’s Key Club. Fluent in English, Spanish and sign language, she also teaches Christianity at her local church.
Having moved from Queens to Elmont at a young age, Emma said she is seeking stability while following her passion for media at Elmont High. She hopes to become an investigative journalist, uncovering the hidden ills of society, she said. She also said she enjoys writing various stories and journaling her experiences.
Although undecided about which college she will attend, Prashad said she plans to apply to a SUNY school with an excellent writing program, and she wants to stay close to home. She enjoys making friends, and she has preserved through heartbreaks, anxiety and the constant pressure to succeed academically, she said.
Prashad grew up in a conservative Guyanese (South Asian descent) household, with two siblings. She said she is encouraged, driven even, by her family to do well in all she sets out to accomplish. She loves to work hard, she said, and she would advise her younger self to “hang in there since the hard work pays off.”