Emma Goldberg, 17
She used to doubt the power of Twitter. After all, how much can you really express in 140 characters? — Twitter’s strict word limit. But after mobilizing 2,000 students to direct tweets at President Obama while he appeared on MTV, and receiving a response from the president himself on national television articulating his administration’s policies about genocide in Sudan, Emma Goldberg officially reformed her views.
Emma, a 17-year-old senior at Heschel High School, tapped into social media to mobilize youth around the world regarding issues of humanitarian intervention. As the national social media director of STAND, the Student Anti-Genocide Coalition, Goldberg creates and manages social media resources for 150 college and high school chapters nationwide. She also helped organize last month’s 2012 New York Regional STAND conference, gathering students from around the country to speak about effectively raising genocide awareness.
“I grew up hearing stories from a grandfather who escaped from Lithuania in 1939,” said Goldberg. “That’s what inspired me to get involved in anti-genocide work.” But she wants to take her work beyond the Jewish sphere. “From a young age, I was instilled with a broader sense of social justice. Keeping one foot in the Jewish community, I want my contributions to affect the larger, global community.”
A writer (she’s editor-in-chief of the Heschel newspaper), Goldberg has earned 28 Scholastic Young Writing Awards since 2007, including the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s “Top Journalist” Award and the Scholastic Gold Portfolio Award, given to seven out of 1,000 applicants, in 2012.
Eli’s Coming: Goldberg is headed to Yale next year, planning to pursue a major in ethics, politics and economics. Favorite book: “Quiet: The Power of Introverts,” by Susan Cain. “She showed me you don’t have to be an extrovert to change the world.”