The University’s third annual Weekend of Excellence will take place April 19-21. To prepare for the weekend, we want to introduce you to some of the outstanding students that will be recognized as part of the festivities. Today we introduce you to Emely Reyes. For a full list of events scheduled during the weekend, click here.
Emely Reyes, a senior human resources and marketing double major, is president of the Latin sorority Lambda Theta Alpha, Inc. Reyes’s leadership duties also include serving as vice president of membership intake and retention for the Multicultural Greek Council, president of Delta Nu Chapter, and she is involved in the Human Resources Student Association and the Latin American Student Organization.
What has been a motivating factor for you in your work here at Loyola?
My family; specifically, my little sister. I am the first person in our family to physically leave Texas for school, and I’d like to set the bar high. I want my little sister to do better, but I’m not going to make it easy! Family, paired with my second family Lambda Theta Alpha and sorority and fraternity life in general, has been the push I need to make the most out of my time spent at Loyola. I am not only representing my family, but a community that I’d like to make proud. I want to be living proof that sorority and fraternity life members hold ourselves to higher standards.
What ultimately sold you on coming to Loyola?
I wanted a big change. Like I mentioned, I’m from Texas, Houston in particular, and when it came time to pick where I wanted to study, Chicago was my top choice. Looking into schools in Chicago, I liked Loyola’s size, the business school, the location, and the opportunities that were mine for the taking. It helped that Loyola also assisted me financially as well. Reflecting on it now, I also think the fact that Loyola offers a Jesuit education gave me comfort. Knowing that I would be surrounded by a big group of good-hearted people was important.
How did you get involved in research/service at Loyola?
Service opportunities at Loyola are almost hard not to find! I found my primary opportunity in sorority and fraternity life. All three councils give back to the greater community in more ways than imaginable, whether it is raising money for St. Jude, participating in Relay for Life, cleaning up Rogers Park, participating with LABRE, donating books and supplies to community organizations like Centro Romero, or visiting St. Thomas of Canterbury. I do personally like lending a helping hand when possible and Loyola has given me plenty of opportunities to do so.
What do you think are the highlights of your experience at Loyola?
My highlights would definitely have to be getting the finals prayers from Sister Jean every year, the blizzard that happened sophomore year, joining my sorority, performing in the Alumni Gym at the 1st Annual MGC Triple S Show, and the flash mob during finals breakfast!
Do you think Loyola has been a rewarding experience? How?
For sure, there’s no doubt Loyola has been a rewarding experience. Thinking about it now, I’ve grown so much as an individual, as one should after spending four years at a university. I’ve grown to be more compassionate to those around me and I want more for myself. I’ve seen opportunities at Loyola and I have the drive to go after what I want. The saying, “You are who you are by association,” is so true. Loyola students always want more. Whether it’s a second major, third internship, or another chance to study abroad; the culture paired with its faculty and staff challenge students to literally lead extraordinary lives.
What advice would you give students about how to get the best out of their education?
I’d tell them to realize that it is their time here. It sounds so simple, but it’s true. Do what you want, with the purpose of you obtaining your degree(s) always in the back of your mind. You want to join sorority and fraternity life? Do it. Study abroad? Why not? Intern in the heart of downtown? Absolutely. Do nothing for an entire week? You can. It’s your decisions that affect you in the end. At this moment it may not seem like you’re living the life, but reflecting back on my earlier years here, if you look back and don’t like what you see, it’s because of the effort you put in, and not anyone else. Take the reins of your life; they start here, at Loyola, the first day you walk on campus.