May 1, 2017
Political science and economics double major Emily Formea ’18 received national recognition for her support of children’s causes with Save the Children Action Network. SCAN leadership named her the Student Advocate of the Year earlier this spring in Washington, D.C.
SCAN, the political engagement wing of nonprofit social service organization Save the Children, focuses on early childhood education and preventable child deaths. It has chapters at colleges, including Bradley University, that introduce students to advocacy work.
“It was humbling to receive the award,” said Formea, of Brighton, Illinois. “The award is a great way to showcase how young people can have a voice. It validated our work here at Bradley.”
Formea received the award at SCAN’s annual advocacy summit, which brought students to the nation’s capitol for a weekend immersion in political activism. After training sessions, they met with their Congressional leaders or staff. Formea and Alli Bulmahn ’19, a health science major from Tinley Park, Illinois, talked with representatives from Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Tammy Duckworth.
The experience opened students’ eyes to the influence they could have.
“You realize you can make a change if you’re passionate and dedicated to an issue,” Formea said. “It’s intimidating to speak to government officials, but it’s something I’m thankful to have the freedom to do.”
As a founding member of Bradley’s SCAN chapter, Formea gained a new perspective on global issues. It also inspired her to consider an advocacy-centered career, with a long-term goal of returning to D.C. to work in politics, nonprofits or other
“I want to do more to give back to those who can’t help themselves,” she said. “I catch myself complaining about life sometimes, but my problems are nothing like what kids around the world go through.”