The Social Institute Student Influencer Program: Introducing Emma Vinall
One of the Seven Social Standards that The Social Institute believes in is: Finding Your Influencers. This means surrounding yourself with positive role models who support you and encourage you to play to your core. To help students find these positive and credible influences, we began our Student Influencer Program. Each week we select a different student to take over our Instagram and highlight how they act as a positive influence and inspiration in their communities.
This week we are excited to introduce Emma Vinall. Emma is a captain of the American University women’s lacrosse team and was named All-American last year! Last semester, Emma put her passion for the environment to work as an intern at Earth Day, a non-profit organization focused on activating the environmental movement worldwide. Social media is important to Emma as it has helped her advocate for movements that she cares about and allowed her to Use Her Mic For Good. When she is at home in Northern Virginia, Emma is fostering kittens, writing in her journal, or hanging out with her three sisters.
Recently, we interviewed Emma to learn more about her and how social media impacts her life. Here’s what she had to say:
What do you value about yourself or others?
Emma: Unselfishness is something that I value in myself and in others. Specifically, being generous with time and effort in personal relationships. I value people who can empathize with others and will go out of their way to make others feel good about themselves.
What are your personal goals?
Emma: In the short term, I am looking to graduate with my Masters of Marketing and finish my 5th year of lacrosse successfully. My everyday focus right now is on pushing myself and my teammates to get better on the field and in the classroom. After this year, I want to continue to impact the lives of student-athletes and work in collegiate athletics as a Division 1 lacrosse coach.
How have you felt since returning to in-person school?
Emma: I am grateful that we are able to be back together this fall. Taking my 5th year has been an amazing opportunity that I am so thankful for. While it has been an adjustment going from online classes to in-person, I have enjoyed getting to spend time with my teammates and being back in the classroom.
What are the things you try to accomplish each day?
Emma: Recently, I have been trying to practice gratitude every single day. Covid-19 impacted everyone’s lives and personally gave me a new perspective. As a college athlete, there are definitely days where I can lose that perspective, so every day I have been trying to remind myself of all the reasons I have to be grateful for what I get to do.
What or who inspires you most?
Emma: My teammates are people who constantly inspire me every single day. I think there is so much to be gained and learned from others’ strengths. Being able to spend 3-4 hours with the female athletes on my lacrosse team is a privilege that I try to take advantage of while I can.
How has social media acted as a positive influence on your life?
Emma: Social media has given me the ability to connect with people and be inspired by others. I love seeing what other people post and learning from them. It also is a great way to stay in touch with individuals that I am not able to interact with very often. I think it has made a lot of my relationships closer because I am able to feel more connected with people. It also gives me a voice to advocate for movements that I am passionate about, which I am very thankful for.
Of our Seven Social standards, which one do you most resonate with and why?
Emma: The ‘Use Your Mic for Good’ resonates with me the most because I think that in the past couple of years, social media has been a great resource for spreading awareness on important issues. I have personally learned a lot about problems that I care about and can make a difference for.
If you could go back and talk to your younger self, what advice would you give to her about navigating social media or social relationships?
Emma: Social media is a great resource and tool, but don’t put all of your energy into it. Creating memories outside of your phone screen is really important. Use social media wisely and have fun with it, but make sure it is not the only thing you value.
We are so excited to have Emma as a part of the Student Influencer Program. It is impressive that she has been able to strike a balance between a leadership role on the team and an advocacy role in environmental justice. Way to go, Emma! We look forward to watching her continue her leadership in women’s sports. If you know a student who is accomplishing great things, we want to highlight them! We love sharing impressive students with the world. Contact us here.
About The Social Institute
The Social Institute partners with schools nationwide to empower students, families, and educators to positively navigate social-emotional health, social media, and technology. Schools access our student-respected, turnkey curriculum through WinAtSocial.com, an interactive, gamified learning platform. With solutions for students, parents, and educators, we offer a systemic and comprehensive SEL program through a unique and positive approach. We are proud to serve public and independent partners such as Ravenscroft School, Woodward Academy, Oldfields School, All Saints Episcopal School, Lake Forest School District, Boston Public Schools, and more. For more information on how to empower your students to make high-character decisions online and off, please contact us.