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Meet the Freshman: Emani Salih

A native Las Vegan on what her degree will mean to her family.

People  |  Aug 18, 2016  |  By UNLV News Center

Incoming freshman Emani Salih and her mother Charita Parrish. (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

Editor's Note: 

For our Meet the Freshman series, we dropped in on a recent orientation event to ask a handful of incoming Rebels (and some of their parents) about why they chose UNLV. 


Emani Salih credits her parents for pushing her to attend college and “make sure I better myself every day.” The Las Vegas native is the first in her family to go to college. Her strong academic record earned her scholarships and she plans to live in the residence hall while she studies kinesiology. She came to orientation with her mom, Charita Parrish.

Why UNLV?

Emani: I really wanted to stay close to home. I knew I made the right choice after taking the tour. I love how diverse it is. I feel at home when I’m here.

Mom: I’m really glad that UNLV is giving her the whole college experience. It’s giving her the support she needs to learn how to start living on her own and becoming her own person.

How will getting your degree affect your family?

Emani: They’ll know that they raised me right and I did everything I could to make them proud. They’re already proud. Every day, they are on Facebook talking about it.

Biggest fear?

Emani: I really am close to my family, so I worry about how I’ll miss them — even though they’re right here in town.

Mom: She’s an introvert, so my biggest fear was that she won't let people in. She’s always excelled at the education part — studying hard — so I don’t worry about that part at all. I hope she builds confidence and explores a lot.

What makes you a Rebel?

Emani: I make my own choices and own my decisions.

Tips for next year’s incoming class?

Emani: Be confident in where you want to go. Have fun and don’t stress as much about the application process like I did. After I got in, the stress went down right away.

Mom, for parents: Take in all the information you can and definitely go on all the tours and orientations they offer. You’ll learn about all the services your child can take advantage of. I was shocked about all the international programs that help them study and travel outside the country. If I hadn’t gone to orientation, I wouldn’t know to encourage Emani to look into that.