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Influencer, Podcaster and Alumna Emma Chamberlain Surprises Students on Class Day

Emma Chamberlain at Notre Dame Belmont
  • Antiguos alumnos
  • Events and Activities

As students gathered in the Moore Pavilion for Class Day, they never expected that their fellow Tiger and esteemed Alumna Emma Chamberlain would walk through the door. Class Day is an annual celebration where students and Staffulty gather to receive special awards commending their exceptional work throughout the school year. As the award ceremony came to a close, Head of School Meredith Essalat ‘98 announced  that a special guest was there to speak to them in celebration of the one hundredth graduating class. 

As the double doors opened and Emma Chamberlain jogged excitedly into the Moore Pavilion with a wave and a smile, students erupted in applause and shrieks of excitement. 

students in graduation attire look surprised

As Emma sat down for a fireside chat with Meredith, she exclaimed, “This is where it all started.” She shared that she now realizes the impact that Notre Dame Belmont High School had on her. “It’s such a special community and it's all coming back - it's magic. It’s such a special nostalgia. There are so many beautiful memories here.”

Emma Chamberlain speaks with Meredith Essalat Head of School

The conversation began with Meredith asking Emma how she harnesses confidence in her career as an influencer, podcaster, model and more. Emma shared that it is important to surround yourself with those who truly appreciate the essence of who you are. She also reflected that as women, we tend to be critical of ourselves and that it is important to “put up a stop sign” to the negative self-talk. “It’s ok to struggle through the process of self-acceptance, but through practice, you get there.” 

When Emma was asked how she maintains a balance between the digital world and her real life, Emma shared, “It is an ongoing journey, and I am constantly reconfiguring my boundaries with the internet because it is tough - it is a part of everything that we do these days. You have to keep some things sacred to you and your life and your memory. It’s about giving yourself your own life outside of it.” 

When asked if she had any advice for students who may be experiencing mental health struggles, Emma shared that it is so important to remember that everyone is going through something. “When you feel alone, remember that everyone has something. When you get into that place of ‘I can’t fix this’ or ‘I don’t know where to go, I’m stuck.’ That’s the hardest place to be. You just have to take one little step, that’s it, and then you’re moving again. We get into that place where you feel like you can’t take a step, or sometimes you feel too stubborn to take a step. I will get too stubborn to take a step, but that’s the most important thing to do - sometimes that’s going for a walk, talking to a therapist, painting a painting.” 

“It's so much easier to get through it when we have each other to help.” Emma explained. “It’s about believing in community…people want to help. I’ve realized that it makes me feel better when I talk about it, and hopefully it helps other people realize that they can talk about it too.”

When asked what legacy Emma wants to leave behind, she said that she focuses on her day-to-day legacy on a much smaller scale. “I just hope that I am the best person that I can be and I hope that I make people feel comfortable and understood in some way,” she shared.

When asked what it was like building a business and brand, Emma shared that it was more challenging than she expected. “There were so many things about building a coffee company that I didn’t understand..but I was determined to find a way to build a team around me that would allow me to lean into my strengths and also supplement in areas. A lot of times we think we need to do everything ourselves…but the most important takeaway for me is that it is OK to learn as you go. No one knows everything…we are all learning as we go and that’s OK. It’s important to be aware of your strengths and what you can improve, and try it anyway…it’s a lot of pressure but it's worth it. When you are making your dreams come true in some way, it is never smooth. We overcame some stuff and made it happen.” 

Emma Chamberlain at NDB

At the end of Emma’s fireside chat, she assisted Meredith with handing out the Head of School Award to senior Kaylee Ellerhorst.

Emma Chamberlain with student

Following the Head of School Award, Emma posed for a group photo with the one hundredth graduating class of NDB, the Class of 2024 Dragons!

Emma Chamberlain with NDB Class of 2024

Thank you, Emma, for inspiring our students and soon to be graduates to follow their dreams. This was a day they will never forget!

Emma Chamberlain poses with Head of School Meredith Essalat in front of all students

Watch a highlight reel of Emma Chamberlain's visit below: