Emily A. Siassay
Emily A. Siassay is the seventh of her father’s eleven children, and is currently supported by her mother. Emily was born in Harper City in Maryland County, which is one of the smallest counties in Liberia. Coming from a family where boys are favored over girls, Emily had to drop out of school for a year when her family could not afford her school fees. Instead of giving up, Emily persevered and was able to catch up with her peers. This experience only made her commitment to education stronger.
In high school, she was the captain of the Intellectual Debate Club, which she credits with giving her the ability to move beyond fear to express her views on any issue. She is passionate about women’s empowerment and currently serves as the Executive Director of Girls Initiative Liberia (GIL), an organization that seeks to improve the lives of women and break the barriers that affect them. GIL is an active group in the community, and Emily and her team organize workshops to educate women about menstruation and lead seminars to help children improve their reading skills.
Emily plans to study sociology in the US and then return to Liberia to become a lawyer. She wants to become a lawyer so that she can protect the rights of all people, especially women and low-income people. With high levels of corruption within the judicial system, Emily knows that qualified change-makers need to get involved. Emily hopes to help create a system that will give justice to all and protect the most vulnerable in court hearings despite their circumstances.