top of page

Emma N. ’27: Embracing Heritage and Making a Difference

Emma N., a freshman, kindles her passion for her API heritage while delving deeper into exploration at Carondelet.

Emma N., a Carondelet freshman, immerses herself in a host of activities, from ASB and Mock Trial to her involvement in Overbooked, a book club, and her role as Assistant Producer for the Winton Arts Film Fest. As a member of various clubs and activities, Emma’s journey is not only about self-discovery but also about embracing diversity and making a positive impact in her community. Despite her busy schedule, Emma’s passion for her Filipino heritage shines brightly through her involvement with the Asian Music Club. Asian Foods Appreciation Club, and the Asian Pacific Islander Club.

Emma’s Filipino side of the family played a significant role in her upbringing, instilling in her a deep sense of pride in her heritage. “During my elementary school years, my Filipino grandparents watched me after school and during the summer. I remember that my Lola would bring a lot of Filipino foods to try. I don’t speak Tagalog, but I’ve picked up a lot of the language from my family’s conversations.”

At Carondelet, Emma found a platform to further explore and celebrate her API identity through the Asian-Pacific Islander Club (API Club). “I learned [Carondelet] had an Asian Pacific Islander club and I really wanted to join it. I saw the potlucks and the other activities they advertised and I was immediately drawn to it. So, when I saw them at the club fair, I knew I had to join.” Emma discovered newfound confidence and a sense of belonging through API Club meetings, cultural festivals, and events like the Tinikling dance performance.

One particular moment stands out in Emma’s journey—winning a Kahoot quiz about Filipino history. In that instance, she felt an overwhelming sense of pride in her heritage, realizing the depth of her knowledge and connection to her roots. It was a defining moment that fueled Emma’s aspirations for the future.

“At my old school, we didn’t have affinity clubs so there wasn’t much opportunity to learn about other cultures—especially my own. One of the first API meetings that I went to, we played a Kahoot about Filipino history. I was impressed that I was able to recall a lot of the things my dad and grandparents had told me over the years. At that moment I felt super tied to and knowledgeable about my culture, and that made me very proud of myself.”

In the future, Emma is driven to combat discrimination and become an advocate for justice for her API community by becoming a prosecutor and eventually, a district attorney. “Violence and discrimination, especially against API individuals, have fueled this goal of mine. I want to make it so that this prejudice-perpetuated injustice doesn’t go unpunished and people in my community who experience such discrimination receive justice.

For students who are beginning to explore their API heritage, Emma offers some advice: “Join all the API groups that Carondelet and De La Salle offer as well as the DEI Council if you would like to work on events that help celebrate their culture. I think the best way to explore your culture is to surround yourself in it by taking advantage of all the diversity groups that the school has to offer.”

winton arts film festival 2024


More Than High School.

Her School.

Schedule a visit today