Name: Emma Parkes
School: Wilcoxson Elementary
Accomplishments: Third-place winner of Wilcoxson Elementary's Speak Loud, Speak Proud contest, in which Emma wrote about her favorite place in Connecticut, YMCA Camp Mohawk.
Emma attended the overnight camp for girls last year, as well as this year. She said her favorite activities at the camp are baking, volleyball, canoeing and making new friends. "It's really fun," says Emma of her time at the camp that is located in Litchfield, Conn.
At Wilcoxson Elementary School, Emma has performed in the last two plays. Last year, she was Little Alice in "Alice in Wonderland," and this year she played one of the orphans in "Annie Jr."
“I love the acting experience and love being on stage, dancing and singing,” says the 10-year-old.
Emma is a straight-A student and finds it hard to decide which is her favorite subject. She loves reading and is currently reading the "The Sisters Grimm" series.
Emma has received numerous ribbons and trophies for her swimming in the last five years. She used to represent the Stratford YMCA swimming team, but later transferred to the Rapids Swim Team. Her specialties are the 50 and 100-yard freestyle. Later this summer, Emma will be participating in a track camp at Bunnell High School.
Emma also has a job as a mother’s helper for the Bosma family in Stratford. In this capacity, she helps with the four young children -- ages 1 through 5 -- and plays with them while their mother completes household tasks. Emma says that she has “a lot of fun” helping out. She is also very good about saving her money for the things she really wants. She recently used her earnings to purchase a face painting book and talks about saving up for her own car.
At the Stratford Library, Emma participates in a number of activities. She is a member of the Aspiring Authors Program for Kids group, which meets weekly and inspires children to express their creativity. She was also part of a YouTube video that promotes the Stratford Library’s Summer Reading Program.
Emma enjoys attending St. Mark Church Children’s Mass as she loves “to read and perform in front of a crowd.”
Key to Awesomeness: Emma's gratefulness for her friends and family.
She calls her cousin Haley the best cousin she could ever ask for: “She gives the best advice, is fun to be around and is always nice and kind to everyone."
She also has great friends in her life. “Madison has been my best friend since we were born. She’s a really good friend!”
Emma says that her parents are also a source for her inspiration. “They really encourage me, help me do a lot of things, are always nice to me and help me out with any problems I have," she says. "My mom is very funny and I love snuggling with my dad.”
Emma says the special people in her life encourage her to “be kind to everyone and help out anyone in any way that I can.”