Student uses past to promote leadership on campus

Haley Parlapiano
Staff Writer

img_1102Isaac Kautz|The Hudsonian

Going from being bullied in high school to becoming president of Hudson Valley’s Student Senate, Emma Dillon has a newfound confidence in herself.

Dillon started out in the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) in high school. The club, which helps students in bullying situations whether they were bullied, the bully or even a bystander.

“I was the Treasurer and then I was elected in as the Vice President,” she said.

Dillon’s motivation to help others in these situations helped her obtain her positions in the club. As well as making progress with her leadership skills, Dillon found herself gaining confidence from her experiences.

“I was bullied a lot during high school and being in NCBI helped,“ she said. “I got to go to a lot of leadership conferences and that kind of developed me.”

Due to the severity of Dillon’s bullying, Dillon’s family decided to move to Albany when her older brother told her about the 24-hour credit program at Hudson Valley.

Dillon felt immediately welcomed to Hudson Valley with open arms. She volunteered immediately to make cotton candy and get the chance to meet new people.

“When I came to Hudson Valley, I was never super into politics,” she said. Despite her lack of interest, Dillon soon discovered her passion for student government.

Inspired by her brother, Josiah Dillon, former Student Senate treasurer, Dillon attended her first Student Senate meeting last year.

“I jumped in my very first day last year and I went to the first Senate meeting.”

Inspired by what was going on around her, Dillon decided from that point on she would become invested in student government. Dillon began with running for freshman class president, and ended the year being elected as Student Senate president, with the concept of bettering herself.

“I am surrounded by like-minded students and faculty that are constantly helping me grow and supporting me,” said Dillon. “I have an amazing e-board, and even if they don’t agree with me, they will support me 110 percent.”

Dillon knew a key to improving her self-worth was by increasing her confidence, which student government paved the way for. She would say to herself, “I got this, I am strong enough, and I am capable”.

Even with all of Dillon’s extracurriculars, she still divides her time between studying, working and being with her family.

Dillon is appreciative of the leadership skills and confidence student government has gained her. “I love giving speeches, talking to people and just leading people,” she said.

Although Dillon loves inspiring students around her, she wants to be seen more as a peer then just Student Senate President.

“Sometimes when people talk to me, they’re like ‘wow you’re the president’, but I am just me”

Dillon wants to be thought of as just a peer, but she enjoys that people look up to her and respect her because of her choices she has made in the Student Senate.

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