As a native CHamoru in the diaspora, Emily Wood is dedicated to indigenous rights and cultural and linguistic conservation. Although she didn’t grow up on Guåhan, she has had the opportunity to learn about her community and reclaim her identity. Her involvement in the CHamoru community in recent years has left her with a desire to support other indigenous communities around the world. Following high school, Emily took a gap year in Germany with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange. Her CBYX experience led her to double-major in International Studies and German at the University of Wyoming.
Emily spent a summer immersed in Indonesian language and culture with the USINDO Summer Studies Program. She returned the next summer with the Critical Language Scholarship continuing to learn Indonesian. Emily spent her junior year in Lithuania learning about cultural resilience. For her senior honor’s thesis, she researched and wrote about the ethical implications of short-term international volunteer experiences, or voluntourism, and developed materials for her study abroad office to promote ethical programs and projects. After graduation, she joined the Peace Corps in Mozambique as a high school English teacher on the border with Zimbabwe. She couldn’t serve her full term due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her free time, Emily enjoys exploring the outdoors, learning CHamoru, photography, and baking. Emily is excited to continue her education and dedicate her life to public service as a Foreign Service Officer. She hopes to work with indigenous communities, helping them regain their self-reliance after centuries of marginalization.