Emery Hall Jr.: Realizing His Potential
Emery Hall Jr. dropped out of high school in his junior year. He later completed his GED at Walla Walla Community College. He took on odd jobs, working as a forklift operator and in the power house at Colville Indian Power and Veneer, the Omak plywood and veneer mill, before it closed. Due to the economy and limited employment opportunities, he decided to pursue a college education.
Emery was able to begin at Wenatchee Valley College at Omak through the tribal employment and training program/higher education program. WVC Educational Planner Livia Millard helped him set up his schedule, smooth his transition and made him feel comfortable, he said.
To his surprise, he made the dean’s list his first quarter and it motivated him to keep going. While at WVC, he realized his passion for both writing and business, and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in finance in the future.
"I heard (English faculty Peter) Donahue was tough," Emery said. "But for me, I thought every class was going to be tough. Well, he was tough, but he really taught me to be a better writer."
An assignment on leaders in his Principles of Management class, taught by business faculty Jean Rodgers, inspired him.
"It brought out the leader in me. Everyone has the potential to be a leader. They say, ‘lead by example.’ That’s my goal," he said.
Emery joined the Red Road Association and now serves as representative to the student senate for the club. He and other members of Red Road are also helping to plan a fall symposium celebrating Colville tribal member Mourning Dove, the first Native American woman novelist.
This year, Emery earned a scholarship through the WVC at Omak Foundation to continue his studies.
"I’ve learned from my mistakes," Emery said. "I’ve never been in such a clear state of mind as I am now. It’s not easy; it’s all about balance, that’s key."
"People are always saying it’s never too late to go back to school," Emery said. "I never imagined I’d be convinced - it is never too late to get an education. If you’re smart enough to know education is the right thing for you, that is opportunity knocking. For me, it’s the most amazing feeling realizing my potential goes even further if I just try not allowing myself for a second the option of giving up."