By Debbie Hall
Pursuing her education, playing soccer and striving for a future as a surgeon
According to her mother, Darcy Neighbors, Emily Neighbors has been uniquely driven since she was a very young child, especially when it comes to playing soccer and her education. A sophomore at Faith Lutheran High School and enrolled in advanced courses, she still finds time to play on the varsity women’s soccer team, starting as a center mid-fielder and helping her team win regionals and state runner-up this past season. She was also named to First Team All-Conference for the state and was awarded All State Academic team. She also plays for the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club and was recently selected for the Olympic Development Program team for Nevada.
Another important aspect of Emily Neighbors’ life is volunteering in the community. One of the main charities that Emily Neighbors volunteers with is DJs for PJs, a nonprofit organization that provides new pairs of pajamas to benefit children in need. Darcy Neighbors founded the organization in 2003 and Emily Neighbors has been volunteering since she was 5 years old.
“I always look forward to DJs for PJs because I spend the entire day in my pajamas collecting and packaging PJs for children who have never received a new pair of PJs. It is so good to know that I have played a small part in putting smiles on many kids’ faces that will get new, comfy PJs,” Emily Neighbors said.
“One of my favorite memories is when my sister and I go shopping to pick out pajamas with the money that has been donated. I can’t even put into words what it feels like to shop for pajamas, knowing we are going to make a child very happy who has had much sadness in their life from neglect and abuse,” she said.
Emily Neighbors credits her mother for inspiring her, both in her goal to become a Division I soccer player in college and a successful career woman and philanthropist.
“Volunteering and giving back to the community has influenced me in so many ways,” said Emily Neighbors, “I have helped my mom with DJs for PJs for over 10 years, collecting pajamas for children in need. This involvement has given me so much gratification, courage and motivation to start Jocks for Socks for my National Junior Honor Society project at Faith, where we collect new pairs of socks for kids in need.”
“My mother has a drive and passion to succeed and I have been blessed with the same drive. I also look up to her a lot because she’s very humble and has a deep-rooted desire to help others who are less fortunate. I definitely think growing up and seeing how she lives her life has helped me develop into who I am today,” she said.
As for her education, Emily Neighbors explained, “I have attended Faith Lutheran since sixth grade and absolutely love the school and the Christian values that we are encouraged to live by day to day.”
“I’ve always wanted to someday be a surgeon. I wanted to be a pediatric cardiologist, but I have started to consider becoming an orthopedic surgeon. I love science and the medical field, so God only knows what I will be when I grow up, but I know for sure, it will be something in the medical field. I can’t think of a more rewarding career than helping others who need surgery desperately to have a better quality of life. I’m looking forward to the journey and adventure that lies ahead of me,” she said.
As Emily Neighbors stated, “I love to work harder than anyone else, in all that I do, that is just who I am.” As a Future Fearless Female, watch out for Emily Neighbors’ athletic, academic and philanthropic endeavors.