Port Allen High School senior Emily Nichols was chosen to represent youth across the state as a member of the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC).
Her main goal is to raise awareness about education inequality and the opportunities available, and not available, for students to gain a competitive edge in the college admissions process she said.
“I want Louisiana to generate more opportunities for dual-enrollment, ACT prep and programs to make students more competitive in college admissions,” Nichols said.
Some of Louisiana’s most outstanding students are selected each year as new members of the LYAC and work together in an effort to influence the legislative process and make the state a better place for young people. A new council is selected annually and is composed entirely of students to address issues affecting the youth of Louisiana.
Now in its eleventh year, LYAC facilitates communication between youth and the legislature and gives students the unique opportunity to be involved in the workings of state government. LYAC members have the opportunity to study, meet with elected officials, and propose legislation in the upcoming regular session.
Members of the LYAC are selected from a large pool of applicants from around the state who display a strong interest in civic involvement. These students are dynamic, well-rounded individuals that go through a rigorous selection process, a release from the LYAC said.
The Advisory Council is not the first time Nichols has been selected out of a large, competitive pool of candidates.
She was one of 100 students from across the nation, out of about 2,000 applicants, chosen to participate in the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America with Princeton University. Nichols was also accepted into the QuestBridge National College Match program, which helps high-achieving students earn scholarships for selective colleges such as Columbia, Harvard, and Princeton.
Nichols is a Pointe Coupee Electric Scholar and carries a 4.7 GPA.
“She’s just gone about her business in an unbelievable way,” Port Allen High Principal James Jackson said. “She’s humble, soft-spoken, articulate, opinionated, competitive and sensitive to others.”
Academics is her number one priority, but it isn’t her only focus.
She holds top leadership roles in 4-H Club, Student Council, and Port Allen High’s award-winning band program. She’s a member of the BETA Club, Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, Journalism Club, Powerlifting, and Track team. She is a two-time State Champion in the discus throw and a member of the 2018 State Champion powerlifting team.
“She is extremely well-liked by her peers and she is so well-rounded,” Jackson said.
Nichols’ next goal is to attend the University of California-Los Angeles where she plans to major in Mass Communication with a concentration in broadcast journalism and Political Science and minor in Performing Arts. After continuing her education, Emily hopes to become an activist for minorities, with a specific focus on incarcerated civilians.