People are interested by talent. God is impressed by character. -Rick Warren
Day 102 of 365: Emily Kleck
It’s her beauty that might catch your attention, but it’s her character that has always captured my heart. Meet Emily Kleck. Emily is the “middle child” of Chris and Kit Kleck. She’s got a terrific older sister, Anna, and a handsome younger brother, Jack. Emily is a 19-year old freshman at New York University (NYU) where she is a standout on their volleyball team. This photo, above, I’ve stolen off her mom’s Facebook page is I assume from prom night at Cathedral last year. I just love it because you can really see her personality and sparkle in this shot!
This second photo is a picture Emily texted me on St. Patrick’s Day this year. I had sent t-shirts like this one to all the kiddos who are lucky recipients of our “Shoebox Club” college boxes. She is a sunny, grateful person who just wanted to say thank you and let me know she was rocking the new, festive shirt on the appropriate day. That is classic Emily behavior!
I first noticed Emily when she was in grade school. I’m fairly certain she’s the only person taller than my Drew in all the grade school photos of their class at St. Louis de Montfort! Ha! He’s got her by a few inches now, but Emily was always a stunner with very long legs. She’s strong, fierce, athletic and incredibly bright!
What first impressed me about Emily when I spent some time around her as a grade school girl was that she was incredibly articulate, friendly and grateful. She never, and I mean NEVER failed to spot me in the lunchroom, hallway, carpool line, or at mass…just anywhere our paths crossed…without taking the time to come and say hello. This is a rare and awesome quality that I have always appreciated when I see it in young people. She was and is now, always confident and friendly! Sometimes we underestimate the impact of a kind word or a smile. Emily has always seemed to grasp the importance of the small but lovely act of kindness.
Emily loves challenges, and she seem undeterred by any missteps, but rather enjoys the effort of learning something new. What a wonderful witness this makes her to others around her! What I am trying to say today is that while Emily is a stunningly beautiful young woman who is certainly graced with unusual and impressive athletic and academic acumen, what makes her truly great is the quality of her character.
I read this terrific quote by Teddy Roosevelt this week and it made me think of Emily, which is why I chose to write about her today.
“Character is far more important than intellect in making a man a good citizen or successful at his calling- meaning by character not only such qualities as honesty and truthfulness but courage, perseverance and self-reliance.“
How true those words ring to me today when thinking of the girl from Fishers, Indiana who chose for her college path New York City with all its bright lights, big crowds, and subways to navigate. From what I hear, she’s killing it in the city. That’s no surprise to me at all! Keep doing you, Emily! God loves the way you SHINE! Count me among your large crowd of fans…and come see me for a hug when you come home for a visit, ok sweet girl! I think you are THE BOMB!
As Emily’s AP Lang teacher at Cathedral, I agree 100%. She is as kind and friendly as she is intelligent and talented!