How I Spent My Summer: Emily Grecco

A few weeks ago, if you follow us on Facebook and Twitter you saw a story about one of our students and her participation in the 50th Anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Emily Grecco, a sophomore, Honors College student and dual degree major in Secondary Social Studies Education and in History/Social Studies was selected to be a part of the commemoration beginning in Washington, DC and finishing in Richmond, VA. Here’s Emily outside the Department of Education in DC.

Emily Grecco 2Like any contest, there involves a story of how Emily was chosen. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Emily and relive her experience in a story, I’m calling “How I Spent My Summer.”

“How I Spent My Summer: Emily Grecco”

Imagine for a second, receiving an email to your student email account and thinking, “This opportunity sounds interesting, I think I might apply.” This was part of the thought process that Emily Grecco, a sophomore at Duquesne University experienced at the end of the Spring 2014 semester after she was notified about the opportunity to apply to be a part of the Anniversary Celebration of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 becoming law. As with the end of many semesters, fatigue and exhaustion were starting to kick-in yet Emily decided to pursue the opportunity through the US Department of Education not knowing where it may lead.

Little did Emily know that she would be one of 400 plus applicants from across the United States for approximately 40 open slots. She was the only representative from Pennsylvania chosen. In essence, this opportunity was open to any enrolled undergraduate or graduate student across the nation. However, much like a job search one’s ability to articulate why they want something through written word is part of why Emily was chosen. Thanks, Liberal Arts. Thanks, Honors College. Thanks, School of Education. As we often tell our students, the ability to write never goes out of style. In Emily’s case, this served her well.

In early July, Emily embarked on her journey. If you’re fuzzy on the details of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, allow me to help (Courtesy of NBC News).

Once settled in our nation’s capitol, Emily had an experience many students can only dream of. Especially those with a love of history and the willingness to teach it to others. She captures a very important day two of her journey in her own blog post about meeting some of the Freedom Riders and traveling from Washington, DC to Richmond, VA.

This photo is Emily with Hank Thomas. One of the original Freedom Riders. Google: Hank Thomas Freedom Rider. It’s enough to make you stop and pay attention. What an unbelievable story.

Emily Grecco 1As Emily told me when we met, “I can’t find the words to describe it!” Not a bad way to spend your summer if you ask me.









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