As the first bell blares through Communications High School every morning, students in every class watch their peers on the morning news; but on Monday April 23, students watched senior Emme Leong of Freehold on the “Today Show” – not “The Breakfast Club.”
Leong, dressed in the red dress she picked out prior at the event’s Lord and Taylor sponsored fashion show, represented CHS as a scholarship recipient from the New York Women in Communications Inc. (NYWICI).
“It is an organization in New York that helps women propel their careers for high school students, college students and postgraduate students,” Leong said.
On the big day, Leong also attended the Matrix Awards, a luncheon that accompanies the event every year. The luncheon celebrates scholarship recipients and honorees.
As one of only two high schoolers to win a scholarship, NYWICI selected Leong for her achievements in several areas of sports management such as social media, digital media, graphic design and advertising.
Leong’s interest in sports management is no surprise. She has played basketball for over ten years, both as a four-year varsity athlete for the Freehold Borough basketball team and an active member of an Asian American basketball team in Manhattan. Her passion for the sport led her to a mentorship opportunity with Monmouth University’s Athletic Department in their communications and marketing offices.
“I got to learn about setting up broadcasts and I worked on design projects,” Leong said. “I also coached middle school girls basketball for a couple of years.”
The combination of the personal and business aspects in a sport-related career helped Leong realize she wanted to be professionally involved in the sports world.
She will go on to study Exercise Science and Sports Studies with a full scholarship at Rutgers University.
To apply for the scholarship, Leong went through a three stage process.
“I sent in an application. After that there was a telephone interview, and then there was a panel interview with the whole committee,” Leong said.
“My experience and everything that led to this accomplishment has been absolutely surreal thanks to everyone who has inspired and supported me throughout the years. I’ve been so blessed with so many great opportunities and I can’t wait for what the future holds,” Leong said.