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Alumni Stories

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Emma Haylett faithfully pursues a lifelong call to glorify the Lord through music

Written by Blake Froistad

High school is almost always a tough, or at least awkward transition for most kids. Going to a private school can add another layer of difficulty to the transition in that many kids who come to Valor, don't know many other students since we have no feeder schools, or youth sports programs which usually help kids get acclimated quickly to other high schools. It's rare to see someone take that transition in stride, but Emma Haylett sure didn't miss a beat when she showed up for her first day at Valor. Coming in as a transfer in her junior year, a child of a military family who moved 16 times, she was a seasoned veteran at being the new kid. She also had a divinely inspired desire to make music from a young age, and was an obvious fit for our conservatory program in the arts department. Now even if you're the most gifted musician, it usually takes time to craft that skillset, but for Emma, just weeks into her junior year at Valor, she was asked to lead worship in chapel. It didn't take long for people to realize that this divinely inspired call to music, was truly from the Lord. 

Four years of crafting her singer-songwriter skills at Valor, creating and leading authentic worship environments in chapel, she was more than equipped to continue doing so in college. With her skillset, she had many options when it came to selecting a school, but as she puts it "I looked at bigger schools, but I wanted a Christian university." With aspirations of being a worship leader someday, she decided to take her talents to Cedarville University in Ohio. Now being a worship leader isn't all about being gifted musically. Sure that helps, but without an authentic relationship with the Savior, the "it" factor just isn't there. But Emma's heart speaks volumes saying "I'm up there not to impress people, I am leading others to glorify God." 

Another element of complexity which exists in the music industry as a whole, is the pressure to "make it" and hard times can have you questioning if this is really for you. Emma has faced those challenges like many others, but hit them in stride, "I had doubts truly trusting if the Lord had this for me. He has shown me time and time again that He is going to provide for whatever is needed." And as for the "making it" pressure "If you're doing what God has called you to do, then you are exactly where you need to be and the world's standards don't apply." 

God continues to show Emma that she is right where she is supposed to be. This last summer, she was in Marco Island for an internship recording music with Dove Award winning artist Matt Papa, and leading worship at Marco Presbyterian Church. Just like she did at Valor, God has her pursuing her passion of writing new music, and leading worship. "It's the best of both worlds." Another confirmation of God's sovereignty and faithfulness to equip us to what He has called us to do. Emma also has a new song called "Creator" that she has just released. You can stream it on Spotify, along with other music she has written and recorded.

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