Retinoblastoma Cancer Survivor
At the age of five, Emily Pickett was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma - a rare, cancerous tumor affecting the retina of the eye. After surgery and treatment, her eye was removed and replaced with a prosthetic. Emily’s visual disability, while traumatic, did not stop her drive and dreams. Emily, now a 23-year old college graduate, is happily living life in remission as a cancer survivor. By the time she finished high school, Emily had raised over $18,000 for the American Cancer Society, received the Female Scholar-Athlete Award, was recognized as a Broward County All-Star Athlete and received the Most Valuable Player on her volleyball team. She went on to graduate Cum Laude from the University of South Florida (“Go Bulls”) where she also mentored students with disabilities at The Learning Academy, tutored underprivileged students at Starting, Right Now, and served as Vice President of Programming and Director of Chapter Activities for Delta Gamma Fraternity. Along the way, she was awarded a scholarship from the National Collegiate Society of Scholars for going above and beyond to give back to the community. She also received the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute Scholarship Award and was awarded the Inspire Panhellenic Award, both of which recognize distinguished and inspirational leaders within the Greek-letter organizations. And if that weren’t enough, Emily was honored to be officially published as a TED.com speaker for her TEDx talk “Limitless: cancer does not define who I am, perseverance does,” presented at the University of South Florida, an event that brought together the world’s best thinkers to promote inspiring ideas.
Emily now works as an Event Programmer for the National Diversity Council. Through this role, Emily continues her work to encourage and promote diversity and inclusion by transforming our community into an environment where individuals are valued for their talents and empowered to reach their fullest potential. Emily is the epitome of what a good leader should be and is uniquely positioned to be our Keynote Speaker for the Young Women’s Leadership Symposium.