By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Northborough/Southborough – On March 27, 22 local high school seniors were honored at the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce 2014 Scholastic and “Champion of Education” awards breakfast held at the Doubletree Hotel. Among the students honored was Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) senior Emma Lien.
Lien made the most of her four years at ARHS, becoming involved in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including chemistry and geometry peer tutor, Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) Club, Steering Committee, National Honor Society, Community Meals and Our Father's Table, and Saint Bernadette's outreach ministry and summer Bible Camp.
When not pursuing her academics or one of her many extracurricular activities, Lien can often be found painting. Lien learned the art of watercolor from her mother, Peg, an art teacher at Saint Bernadette's School. For Lien, painting serves as an outlet to relieve stress and express thoughts that she may not be able to vocalize. She is an accomplished artist who creates watercolor paintings that are displayed in the Bean Counter café in Worcester. Her work is also transferred onto phone cases which she sells.
Whether in her painting or academics, Lien continually tries to challenge herself to do better and exceed expectations.
According to Lien, the most valuable lessons that she takes away from her four years at ARHS are realizing the power of education and recognizing that a good education is not something to be taken for granted.
“Algonquin has offered a lot of opportunities for learning, and I really took advantage of them,” she said. “If anything, I have learned that it is up to you to create your own success; you get out of something what you put into it. School can be challenging, but in the end the success is more than rewarding.”
While Lien credits all of her teachers at ARHS for their hard work and dedication, it is her sophomore English teacher, Emily Philbin, who she said really pushed her to succeed.
“At the time, writing was one of my weaker areas of academics,” she recalled. “Ms. Philbin worked with me and motivated me to work harder. In the end, her commitment to help me improved my writing skills significantly. She was one of the hardest teachers I have had in my life, but also the one that I have learned the most from.”
Lien, who has shown great compassion and empathy in her volunteer work, has aspirations of pursuing a career as a nurse.
“I have spent countless hours caring for my grandparents who both suffer from Alzheimer's disease,” she explained. “I also participate in various service projects through my church. One of them is Our Father's Table, where I volunteer to serve meals to the less fortunate in our community. Through this these simple acts of kindness, I have been able to help others heal and ease their suffering. And it is through these experiences that my desire to become a nurse has been confirmed.”
Lien will be entering the nursing program at either Fairfield University or the University of Massachusetts in the fall.
“There is nothing more rewarding than reaching out and helping others in times of need, which is ultimately what I want to spend the rest of my life doing,” she said.
Visit society6.com/Emmalien/prints to view Emma's hand-painted phone cases.