emma yungeberg senior picture

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. This quote reminds Emma “things will be okay and everything is in God’s hands.”

Emma Jo Yungeberg was born on October 10, 2003 and is the daughter of Tony and Jenny Yungeberg and has one older brother, Bryan. Throughout high school, Emma has participated in volleyball, basketball, and track and has been a valuable component for the Lady Mustangs. She has also been involved in numerous clubs and organizations including: Art Club, Journalism, The All School Play, KAY’s, NHS, StuCo, Scholars Bowl, Forensics, FCCLA, Band, and Cheer. “Emma is passionate and gets excited about things she’s interested in. She’s willing to dive head first and really tackle a subject, sport, or an interest in any kind, head on,” says Mr. Broxterman, Emma’s basketball and track throwing coach. Sports have been a big part of Emma’s high school experience, especially track. After high school, Emma plans to attend a four year university to continue her track and field career, while majoring in political science.  

As a senior, advice Emma would give to the underclassmen is “try and be as authentically you as possible. You will get the most out of high school and have the most fun if you are being true to yourself.” In Emma’s four years at Valley Heights, she has had two major people impact her life, Mr. Whitson and Mr. Smith. “Mr. Whitson made me realize my love for track and he always saw my potential. He has also helped strengthen my faith. Mr. Smith inspired my future career path and helped me discover what I was passionate about. Mr Smith has also played a role in strengthening my faith.” As Emma prepares to leave Valley Heights, Mr. Smith, Emma’s mentor, advises her to “pursue your dreams and make time to travel internationally.”

Emma’s favorite memory at Valley Heights High School was, “state track my freshman year exploring downtown Wichita with Emma Toerber, Jake Yungeberg, Sam Vermetten, and Abby Lister.” Many people know Emma for her athletics, but there are things many don’t know about her. Her favorite food is Mexican, specifically chicken chimichangas with rice and beans and a large bowl of queso. Emma’s ideal Friday night includes being with friends where they are constantly laughing or talking about life. “Emma’s legacy is not just as a record breaking athlete or All-State performer, nor is it as a top notch student. Emma has made an impact as a great person and as a good friend,” says Mr. Smith.

As Emma leaves her mark on the community at Valley Heights, she wants to be remembered “as someone who had a kind heart and always made people feel seen and heard no matter who they were.” Mr. Broxterman says, “Aside from all her academic and athletic accolades, I think she’s been a person that has always been one to defend others and has a strong sense of right and wrong.” In 10 years, Emma hopes to graduate from college with her masters and be living in a big city where she is working to make a better world.

Article by Taya Smith