Meet Emma Fabec, the 9-year old Vice Mayor of her MicroSociety® after school program in Sarasota, Florida- a true leader. This wasn’t always the case.
Emma has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. So taking risks has not come easy for her. Many children struggle to fit in, but Emma faced an even greater challenge. She was filled with anxiety and struggled to overcome social isolation. “I feel like a freak…I know I’m different,” she would say. “I’m the only one with Asperger’s.” She shared few common interests with other girls and avoided social interactions at all costs. “Do you have any idea how humiliating it is for someone my size to be bullied by a kindergartener?”
Then, just four months ago, Emma joined the MicroSociety® after school program at Girl’s, Inc. Now Emma enjoys the respect of others and takes pride in a job well done. When she decided to run for Vice Mayor she exclaimed, “Finally, my chance to do something big!” “I’ve gained confidence and I know I can be a leader.”
Emma won the election by a landslide with 56% of the votes! Even her best friend, Melanie, voted for her- and she was running for office, too! What’s more, Emma has lived up to her campaign promises. She launched a recycling program and leads the drive toward an eco-friendly culture.
On March 22, Emma will speak before 800 guests at the Girl’s Inc. Celebration Luncheon annual fundraiser. She will introduce and present the “She Knows Where She’s Going” Award to a woman who has made a difference in the Sarasota community.
“Emma’s transformation is more incredible than anything we’ve ever seen here,” according to Marissa Monroe, Director of Operations. “Emma’s experience illustrates Girl’s Inc.’s mission to “inspire ALL girls to be strong, smart and bold” and has provided even greater inspiration to those around her!”
Stay tuned. Emma is thinking about starting a blog as part of “The Year of Emma.”