Emma Dreher

In 2014, Emma was nominated as the North American coordinating ambassador for One Young World, a UK-based not-for-profit that brings together the brightest young people from around the world at an annual summit. Emma attended the most recent summit in Dublin, Ireland, and as the coordinating ambassador, she serves as an advocate for her region, researching and promoting initiatives and shaping the agenda of the 2015 event. 

Major: Honors global studies, legal studies option

What is the One Young World Summit? Founded in 2009, One Young World is a U.K.-based not-for-profit that gathers together the brightest young people from around the world. Each year the organization stages an annual Summit where the most valuable young talent from around the globe come together with major world leaders to debate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues our world faces. In the six years since its founding, the One Young World Summit has become the largest gathering of nations outside of the Olympics, with 194 countries represented at their most recent Summit in Dublin, Ireland.

How did you learn about the program? My mother actually emailed me the application link while I was living in Orlando, Fla., this past summer working for Walt Disney World as part of their International College Program. 

Why did you decide to get involved? My primary academic interests focus on themes of global engagement and international policy that made attending this summit an absolute "no brainer." I was fortunate enough to be given this opportunity to take part in a massive global think tank with other highly involved youth from around the world. What an amazing start to my final year of university!

What's one of the greatest things you've learned from participating in the summit? While the summit itself was truly life changing, it was what I learned before I even boarded my flight to Dublin that made the most impact. I found out that I had been accepted as a delegate a mere four weeks before I needed to pay my conference fees to One Young World and, as a student, I could not wrap my head around how I was going to come up with $6,000 in such a short period of time. Obviously the only logical thing to do was book a flight, and within three weeks, by obtaining corporate sponsorship and funds from private supporters within the community, I raised $7,500 -- enough to cover my flight, airport transfers and conference fees. This was a truly humbling experience for me who, until this point, would have never thought to ask anyone for money. It made me realize that we are shaped and supported by the communities in which we live, and I am truly blessed to have lived in such a supportive, generous area.

You were elected as Canada's coordinating ambassador to One Young World. What does this role entail? Coordinating ambassadors play a pivotal role within the One Young World community, primarily as an advocate for fellow ambassadors in their region to research and promote initiatives, as well as gather fellow ambassador's views and opinions to better shape the agenda of the upcoming summit. In addition, coordinating ambassadors organize regional events and meetings and provide other opportunities for engagement outside of the annual summits themselves. 

What academic or personal accomplishments are you most proud of? Aside from being elected as the North American coordinating ambassador for One Young World, I was especially thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work for Disney from May-July of 2014 and fulfill my childhood dream of creating Disney magic for families like so many cast members had for my own.

Why global studies/legal studies as a major? How did you discover you wanted to pursue these fields? I never thought that I would study my major fields. In fact, if you asked me five years ago what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you I was going to become an animator and work for Disney. While I love art, I realized I didn't want to make work out of something that was more of a passion and less of a job. Growing up, my parents instilled the following mentality in me: "To whom much is given, much is expected." I realized I was blessed to have had a tremendous amount of privilege in my life and it was, therefore, my responsibility to ensure that others had opportunity that I had been given. Global studies and International law became a natural choice in pursuing this.

What's a quote you try to live by? "To whom much is given, much is expected. Ask and you shall receive."

Who is one of your role models and why? My nana, Josephine Campbell-Gilroy. Orphaned before she turned thirteen, my Nana was raised by her older sisters in the heart of Belfast, Northern Ireland during the World War II. She was the epitome of graciousness and class, artistically talented, quick of wit and the strongest, most giving person I have ever known. I am so grateful for the 17 years I had with her before she passed of heart failure in 2011. I hold her close to my own heart as not only my role model in daily life, but also my inspiration to join Alpha Phi and raise awareness in her honor on behalf of women's heart health initiatives across North America.