Emily Vasquez | True Beauty
Emily Vasquez

Emily isn’t sure when she realized that singing was her biggest love. It could have been the moment of pure bliss on a community center stage during fourth grade. Maybe it was in high school when she realized that when she sang she didn’t think about the knobby-kneed girl in a Catholic school uniform that looked back at her in the mirror.

Growing up on the lower east side of Manhattan in a rigid Latino household meant that the lines were immediately drawn on “who I could be” and what “I was allowed to do”. In this community, an admirable Latina woman meant she tended to the needs of her husband and family. It was clear, her fate was to either be at a man’s side or a single mother. The problem was that she was anything but meek and painstakingly obedient. She wanted to sing and needed her voice to be heard. Yet, no one wanted to listen.

She remembers the day she was accepted into LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts. Her heart leapt through her chest. Her voice had been acknowledged and confidence began to sky rocket. She started to believe that she could do it and was driven to break away from the cycle of alcoholism, drug use and teen pregnancy that had crushed the dreams of the women in her family.

In the pursuit of fulfilling her dream a man, whom she trusted, abused her and took advantage of her love of music. She was alone and trusting and the words still play in her head, “so you want to be a singer?” The abuse led to her to hating herself but she convinced herself that it was all part of reaching her dreams. After, she struggled to find her lost self confidence but she fought to find her worth and voice again.

On a final whim, she sent in an audition tape to The Glee Project. No matter how many people told her she wasn’t good enough she still had faith in herself. The fading glimmer of hope saved her life.

Emily was on the first season of The Glee Project and left her mark on and off the stage. Today, she looks in the mirror and sees a proud Latina woman reaching for her dreams. She may not have fit the mold of what others wanted her to be but that doesn’t change her loving herself. She is standing tall, following her dreams and inspiring others to embrace what took her years to realize “you are beautiful, unique and a shinning star.”



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Emily is a sweet and very personable young lady. I enjoyed working with her and the students found her to be very entertaining. She is truly talented. I believe she has a lot to offer to the True Beauty programming.

Mary Mercer, Programming Specialist Intern
Adams State College

True Beauty was an amazing event. Not only was Emily great to work with her story was inspirational and something students can relate to. Her lecture was just as wonderful as her performance. It was a great show that all who attended truly enjoyed. Emily Vasquez was a joy to have and truly personified, True Beauty.

Jozalyn Gregor, Performing Arts Chairperson
Shippensburg University


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