Taking a leap sophomore year, Emma Zawacki not only found her biggest passion but also her home


Emma Zawacki

Senior Emma Zawacki has been on the staff of The Central Trend since her sophomore year and became the Editor-in-Chief her senior year.

In a constantly evolving and hectic world, motivation can sometimes come from the most unexpected places. For senior Emma Zawacki, her drive partially stems from the self-care app “Finch” and her digital bird named Bean.

“If I clean my room, I get to check that off, and the bird gets fed,” Emma said. “Her name is Bean, and I have to clean my room because we go on an adventure. To have that motivation of this fake inanimate bird [going] on her adventure is actually really helpful for me because I don’t prioritize things that I need to very often; it’s always things for others because I like doing things for others.”

With her compassion paired with a Type A personality, Emma finds herself falling back upon the organization of to-do lists to hold herself accountable. While her lifestyle isn’t particularly regimented, she finds these tools useful to maximize her day and ensure that she’s always on time. 

Striving to leave no box unchecked, Emma originally joined Writing for Publication sophomore year to simply fill a required credit hour. However, what started as merely her sixth-hour class soon became her biggest passion. 

“When I joined [The Central Trend class], I was very shy as a sophomore,” Emma said. “I [was] very quiet and kept to myself a lot, and I think this class has made me not only passionate about words but also passionate about my words. I like the weight that they carry, the weight they can carry, and the weight that I want them to carry in the future.”

Starting with her first published story on The Central Trend about Flair pens, Emma has continued to pour her heart into the countless words that fill the pages of FHC’s school newspaper. The growth of her writing on this site far exceeds her artistic beginnings of rainbow-colored elementary stories and eighth-grade personal narratives saved in her Google Drive.

I think this class has made me not only passionate about words but also passionate about my words.”

— Emma Zawacki

As Emma’s writing transformed into her biggest passion, it would also take on another form, becoming a part-time job. A forwarded email initially led Emma to expand her writing horizons to Ada Living magazine. Once a month, Emma has the opportunity to write a profile separate from The Central Trend site and send it to the magazine company. 

“I thought it would be a really cool opportunity to get some experience under my belt and be published in print,” Emma said. “It’s really cool to write the story, send it in, and have them work their magic on it. Then the kids I interview will send me pictures of it printed, so it’s really exciting to see that they’re excited about their story getting out there, and I also like to do people’s story justice.”

One story at a time, these articles have made a major impact on the lives of others and have left an even larger impact on Emma’s. In the future, she is planning on publishing her own book and majoring in journalism at the University of Missouri; however, before the college chapter of her life begins, she still has to finish the final days in her senior year of high school. 

At the beginning of her senior year, Emma accepted the opportunity of a lifetime—one that started with an email notification. With that email, she was thrust into the incredible journey of being an Editor in Chief for The Central Trend. Being the “mom friend” was already a title that Emma carried with every group, so she was prepared to step into this role of leadership.

“I always knew that [Editor in Chief] was a hard job,” Emma said, “and I knew it was going to take a lot out of me, but I think I’ve gotten better at working with others. I’m very Type A, and I’m always very anxious and stressed about things. I tend to take control of things and just do them myself, so I think I’ve gotten better at being a team player.”

Ever since becoming editor, she has been met with a multitude of responsibilities and challenges but also millions of fulfilling moments and rewards. More than any digital bird or to-do list, her biggest inspiration comes from the home she found in room 139/140—fellow editors Natalie Mix and Avery Jordan most of all. 

Through the turmoil of the past year, Emma credits her friends for being there with every highlight and struggle. From confiding in each other sophomore year, falling asleep to Dance Moms together, and bonding for two hours of every school day, Emma couldn’t be more grateful for the lasting friendships she created with Nat and Avery. 

“I definitely think [Nat and Avery] have helped me grow a lot as a person,” Emma said. “Working with the two of them has been very exciting and very comfortable. The two of them always seem like they know what they’re doing, and if they don’t know what they’re doing, they’ll figure it out, so I look up to the two of them a lot. I’ve loved getting to know the both of them, and I’m getting sad that it’s going to be over”