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Why Empower Orphans?

Emily Purnell (sophomore)

My name is Emily Purnell and I am a sophomore here at Penn State.  I study Accounting and Spanish, am an active THON volunteer, and run club cross country.  Some people wonder why I chose Empower Orphans as a club to get involved in at Penn State.  Why get involved in another service oriented club?  And why this one specifically?

This is my second year actively being involved in the Penn State Chapter of Empower Orphans.  We are a newly formed club at Penn State with this year being only the second year of our existence, and we support underprivileged and orphaned children in the area.  Last year, I was the graphic designer in the Public Relations Committee of this club, and this year I am the Director of Graphic Design & Technology.  I have always had a passion for community service ever since I was little as I would always try to give my money to homeless people on the streets of Baltimore after Orioles’ games.  As I grew older, my passion grew stronger and I took a week out of each summer to go rebuild homes for the less fortunate in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.  I loved getting the chance to build a connection with the homeowner and see real progress being done on their homes.

When I got to Penn State, a service-oriented club seemed like the right step for me.  But why did I choose Empower Orphans specifically?  I was inspired by Neha Gupta, the Penn State Chapter & international founder of the organization.  I was fortunate enough to live on the same floor as her last year where we met and instantly became close friends.  Neha started this organization when she was 9 years old and has raised over one million dollars for orphans in India & the Philippines since then.  She got me to join this club where my passion for Photoshop has led me to the position I hold now.  I joined this club because I was amazed by the impact a single person could make, starting at such a young age.  Neha is the most humble person I know, and everyday I am surprised when I find out celebrities that she has met or skyped with that she never talks about.  I wanted to be involved in an organization that made real differences in the community and while doing so with such a humble and honorable outlook, so Empower Orphans was the perfect fit.

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