Emily Gruener is one of 10 top entering freshmen from across the state selected to receive the prestigious Forty Acres Scholarship, a new program from the Texas Exes Scholarship Foundation.
Emily graduated from Langham Creek High School in Houston, Texas in May. She was accepted to The University of Texas at Austin for the fall. She is a National Merit Scholar Finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction.
Throughout her four years in high school, Emily was a member of Student Council, serving as president, senator and representative. Projects she helped lead while in Student Council include the Pennies for Patients program to encourage donating pennies to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, raising school awareness about recycling and organizing slightly used SAT study-prep guides to be available in the classroom.
Outside of school, Emily served as an ambassador under the "People to People Student Program." As an ambassador, she was sent to represent Texas to promote international understanding during a three week trip to France, Italy and Greece. In 2009, she was selected as her high school's representative of the sophomore class for her outstanding leadership to attend the HOBY leadership forum at Rice University.
Since 1999, Emily has been a member of the Girl Scouts of America, where she has served on the Planning Board to coordinate a service unit weekend and coordinated a car wash to raise funds and donations for Special Pals, an animal adoption center. This year she will receive the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn for a community service activity in her community.
Emily has also worked as an administrative volunteer for the Houston Food Bank since 2008. This past September, she published an article in STRYVE magazine about the volunteer service performed at the Food Bank with the purpose of getting other students involved. She has also helped enroll disadvantaged senior citizens in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, allowing them to receive a box of free commodities once a month.