"Even as a teacher, being confronted with these overwhelming problems that the kids have, where they would tell me about gunfights and their teeth would be rotting, or they just were on a fourth grade reading level in high school chemistry, and I don't know how to fix that and I want to."
Born and raised in Champaign-Urbana, Emily Wissemen graduated from Uni High and then Illinois Weslyan University and later attended the University of Illinois studying geomicrobiology. After returning from teaching in the Dominican Republic for 2 years, she found her calling teaching in Clarksdale. Despite the challenges, her love for teaching helped build strong relationships with the kids enrolled in Griot. She taught at Griot for 2 years and now serves as the program director.