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Emily Okawara


Seattle, WA

What do you hope to do/accomplish as an ACE Teacher?

One of the ways I most clearly experience truth, joy, and God is through young people. Kids are smart, and I hope to learn with them. Kids are funny, and I hope to laugh with them. Kids are authentic, and I hope to grow with them. Kids are honest, and I hope to speak up and out with them. Kids are generous, and I hope to give with them. Kids are full of wonder and joy, and I hope to dance with them. For the opportunity to give of myself, to stretch my heart, to be constantly humbled, and to get to love each student, I am so grateful!

What experiences at your undergraduate institution helped shape your decision to pursue teaching as a possible vocation?

My class Youth Empowerment with Maria McKenna, Stuart Greene, and the students at the Center for Arts and Culture in the Engaging Youth Engaging Neighborhoods program helped me to realize how important it is to work with, walk with, and listen to young people, while my SSLP summers at Nazareth Farm in West Virginia are where I fell in love with living in intentional Christian community.

How do you hope to grow in your experience as an ACE Ambassador/Intern?

As an ACE intern, I hope to continuously grow in my knowledge of and passion for ACE’s mission, schools, and teachers everywhere. I’m honored to be able to walk with others as they discern ACE and their future, and hope to spread the word about a pretty cool opportunity that has the capacity to change lives in a really big way!

Undergraduate Information

  • Institution:

    University of Notre Dame

  • Major:

    American Studies; Education, Schooling, and Society

  • Activities:

    Resident Assistant in Cavanaugh Hall, Center for Social Concerns: Seminars and Leadership, SSLP, Seminars Task Force, Pasquerilla East Musical Company, Sorin Scholars, Volunteer at Robinson Community Learning Center, Hot Chocolate and Chat, askND, Admissions Tour Guide