Emma Goggans | Young Hero Award from Alabama Public Television

Emma Goggans

Fort Payne High School

Fort Payne, Alabama

Emma Goggans is a senior at Fort Payne High School. She has a GPA of 4.37 and is currently ranked 12th out of her class of 258. She was nominated by FPHS teacher Lee Freeman who wrote, “I am honored to recommend Emma Goggans for this scholarship. As her teacher, FBLA [Future Business Leaders of America] adviser and yearbook sponsor, I have seen many examples of her abilities, and I am always impressed by her tenacity and excellent work ethic.”

Emma is active at her school. She is a member of the yearbook staff, the Key Club, the aforementioned FBLA, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), and the FPHS Tech Team, which creates technology-based projects for competitions. Emma played soccer for her school’s junior varsity team in 9th and 10th grade and was captain both years. In her senior year, she serves as president of the Student Council, treasurer of the Key Club and an officer of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Most people don’t know about Emma’s daily regimen of medications, breathing treatments, and hours of wearing her “vest” to keep her lungs healthy, but Emma was born with Cystic Fibrosis. “She has never let her genetic disorder hold her back from anything she sets her mind or heart toward accomplishing,” Mrs. Freeman wrote. “Emma has played high school soccer, sings beautifully for local events, runs her own graphic design business, works for a local accounting firm and serves as the Student Council president. She is simply a born leader.”

In the race for a cure for CF, Emma is the leader of Emma and Eli’s Dream Team, a Cystic Fibrosis fundraising team. She and her team design and execute fundraisers to raise money for research. She was the 2021 Ambassador of the Alabama Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and a participant for the last two years in the Cystic Fibrosis Teen Advocacy Day.

Emma is a member of Fort Payne First United Methodist Church where she is active with the Youth Group and the Praise Band. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she participated in a drive to send letters to elderly adults and “shut-ins.” She is a regular volunteer for her church’s Christmas and Valentine missions.

Mrs. Freeman concluded her nomination by writing, “Emma Goggans is a perfect example of what a true hero is and should be. She is kind to others. She is one of the most outgoing students I have ever taught, and not once have I ever heard her use her health condition as any sort of excuse. Emma faces all challenges head on and with a smile.”

Young Hero Sponsors

The Young Heroes Program is made possible through the support of:

Derek Chen

Harris Trust


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  • C. W. Daniel Charitable Trust, Young Heroes
  • Medical Properties Trust, Young Heroes
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    a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities
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    a state program of the National Endowment for the Arts
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    a program of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
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