Senior Spotlight on Emma Lu


When I first met Emma in sixie year gym class, I had no idea that I was in the presence of both an artistic and academic genius. The remarkable thing about Emma is that she can do practically anything and excel in it — perhaps with the exception of sports ;). For every humanities or social justice-related endeavor she has, there is a STEM-based accolade sitting beside it. From art awards to science fairs, she has won it all, and yet you’ll never catch her bragging. That’s because Emma is one of the most humble people you will meet. This shines through in her activism and makes her an incredible friend.

Ironically, we became even closer during the time of social distancing and remote school. Emma’s compassion was palpable through the laptop screen, and her insights enriched each Zoom class discussion.

One of Emma’s most admirable traits is her inability to remain idle when moved by a cause. Through the Topol Fellowship, World Wildlife Fund and Mayor’s Youth Council, she channeled her empathy into action as both an effective leader and supportive teammate. Emma constantly asks what more she can do; even when she’s overloaded with other work and commitments, she manages to be one of the most reliable, hardworking people in any group. After designing more than enough posters this year, we jumped at every chance to make a statement in even bolder ways. I’m eternally grateful for Emma’s dedication as we rushed to organize that Roe v. Wade event in under a week. Seeing our own outrage and determination reflected in someone else assured us that we could pull it off, even when we were clearly getting on the administration’s nerves.

Emma is a leader at BLS as president of both FemInSTEM and EPIIC. These roles display another of Emma’s gifts: the ability to make others feel unconditionally welcomed and accepted. This is apparent in how she approaches those sitting alone at lunch or how she always offers her undivided attention if you ever need to talk. 

There is one slight byproduct of this supportive nature: she is a certified enabler. You will, undoubtedly, leave the mall 30 bucks poorer and one brand new shirt-jacket richer. Be warned. In all seriousness, though, she never fails to impress in every facet of her life (take her gorgeous gallery-worthy art pieces and clarinet skills, for example). I’ll always cherish our late night FaceTime conversations, especially that time when we frantically tried to fix your Physics 1 flashlight project.

Emma, I never thought I’d find another only child with a mosquito bite allergy, but here we are. This year has flown by, but we’ve created so many great memories. Whether chanting at a protest march or presenting at Human Rights Day, you always use your voice for good. I have no doubt that you will continue to uplift both those in your immediate circle and the global community as you go forward in life, and I can’t wait to be there cheering you on <3.