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Millennium High School senior gives back to community both near and far

(Emma Bolin)

Millennium High School catcher and middle infielder Emma Bolin was just a few games into her 2020 softball season when it was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now in her senior year, Bolin might be forced to go through high school without ever experiencing a traditional prom.

But that won’t deter the 17-year-old’s confidence in herself or her willingness to serve and help others.

Bolin has been giving back to the community both near and far since she was a middle schooler, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

She received the Dolphin Award in middle school and the Tiger Award in high school, which are school awards given by the coaching staff of her respective sports teams for the player that exemplifies extraordinary character, sportsmanship and leadership both on and off the field/court.

“Receiving those awards have meant so much to me because I’ve valued having good character all of my life and I feel like it’s something that’s super important,” Bolin said.

“Seeing what I do being noticed is a huge thing. It just makes you want to continue to grow as a person, as an athlete and as a leader and it’s just been so amazing to feel that way.”

The high school senior also plays badminton at Millennium and has been a captain for two years now.

Bolin — who boasts a 4.15 GPA as well as being vice president of National Honor Society — says that becoming a captain was just one of the many reasons why she has undergone such a dramatic transformation to become the high-character person she is today.

“At the beginning of high school, I was a very quiet person and I never really was trying to do stuff out of my comfort zone,” she said. “I think becoming a leader on the badminton team has been helping me to grow out of it and it’s been amazing to see the different person that I’ve become.”

When Bolin isn’t captaining her badminton team or traveling to play club softball, she offers up her time to help others, especially those in need.

Despite her 18th birthday being in December, the high schooler has already gone on multiple mission trips and was regularly helping with Vacation Bible School prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Volunteering has always been a passion of mine. I’ve always found happiness in serving others,” Bolin said. “I’ve done so many things in the past few years. … I’ve been a co-leader in VBS and teaching the kids all about the Lord and it’s just been amazing.”

A couple of those mission trips include visits to Durango, Colo., and San Diego, where Bolin and her group helped feed the homeless, clean out houses and clean the beach for Habitat for Humanity.

She has also volunteered for the likes of Feed My Starving Children, where packages with essential nutrients are provided for kids in areas of the world that don’t have access to such foods.

“The few times that I’ve been able to volunteer there, we’ve worked and worked and worked and we were able to get so many packages filled for so many kids,” Bolin said.

“It’s an awesome way to simply volunteer for others. It’s so privileging. I love it so much.”

And while Bolin hasn’t yet decided where she will be attending college, there’s no doubt in her mind what she wants to do once she graduates.

Whether it’s an offer to play softball from The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., or Regis University in Denver, Bolin will be majoring in physical therapy.

“I’ve always really wanted to help people in the medical field and it was just a perfect balance for me when I was looking through types of jobs in the medical field,” she said.

“It was hands-on and you can see the progress in how people are trying to heal. It was just really cool to see how we can help people do those things and that’s why I think I fell in love with physical therapy.”