An Empathetic Explorer Discovers Community and Purpose

Emily Johnson- Human Connection Series

This is Emily, but most people call her Em. She is from Garner, North Carolina. After working hard for four years, she finished her degree at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina this past May.

Although if you know Emily now you wouldn’t believe it, but she hasn’t always had confidence and self-assurance. Growing up she struggled to find her voice. From a young age, Emily has always been quiet. The feeling like she had something to say but didn’t know how to say it isolated her. She enjoyed reading her bible every day, hanging out with old people, and listening to southern gospel music. She describes her younger self as a 90-year-old trapped in an 11-year-old’s body. Struggling to find her voice high school had its own set of challenges that became even worse when she transferred at the end of my sophomore year. She recalled it was one of the hardest transitions she ever went through. Emily finished high school, but still wrestled with her shy nature and sense of purpose.

Everything changed in college.

Her first couple of weeks at East Carolina University were nothing short of disastrous; going home every weekend. Her social anxiety prevented her from even going to the dining hall without her roommate. Within a few weeks, things started looking up. She joined the college ministry, Fuse, that would change her college experience for the better.

I am a passionate human with so much love for others. In the future, I hope to use my voice to inspire people and bring light to the darkness.

Emily Johnson

Finally, she had discovered a community, groups of genuine friends, and a sense of belonging. Her shell that she had been living in for most of her life began to crack. College challenged her to put herself out there and she gained a new sense of confidence. That confidence transformed Emily into a new person ready to take on any adventure.

I gained confidence in my worth as a human being. I like to tell my friends that I was a butterfly that had finally found its wings. So, I guess this leads me to where I am now.

Emily Johnson

Although she is soft-spoken, she isn’t shy once you get to know her. One thing to know about Emily is that when she loves people she loves them with her whole heart. You couldn’t ask for a better friend or worker. Her free spirit is contagious and her kindness abounding.

I realized that my worth does not depend on other people. It is okay to be alone because that is where true development starts.

Emily Johnson

Emily is still not done exploring and discovering herself, but she is thankful that college allowed her to become her true self. Now she continues to discover and challenge herself through traveling and taking on new business ventures. She just started a photography business in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is excited about what the future holds. There is no doubt Emily is a caterpillar turned butterfly; ready to use her wings.

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