By Isabella Barba ‘22, Valentina Gonzales ‘22, Isabella Hernandez ‘23, Cassidy Matwiyoff ‘22, Anjali Paye ‘21, Julia Torres ‘22, and Paulina Uribe ‘23
With October being National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Architects of Change team had the unique opportunity to conduct a virtual interview with Emily Chang, the founder Stella and Luna, a 501c3 nonprofit. In her sophomore year of high school, Emily was exposed to the reality and severity of domestic violence around the world. She knew that she had to make a change. So, at only 16-years-old, Emily created a nonprofit to sell her handmade jewelry and hair accessories. One hundred percent of the proceeds from her company are donated to two domestic violence centers in the Los Angeles area: 1736 Family Crisis Center and The People Concern. Although Emily’s business has had much recent success, the road to her accomplishments was no easy journey. Having to balance the pressures and work-load of her academic curriculums, Emily had to overcome many obstacles on her journey to growing her own business. Nonetheless, these challenges allowed Emily to gain quality experiences and new perspectives. Through confidence in herself and in her ambitions, Emily was able to step out of her comfort zone and enter into an innovative mindset, through which accommodated for the development and expansion of her business. Emily has chosen to seize this opportunity to do what she feels is her social responsibility: to affect change in her community. She is currently a senior, and she shared with the team her experience throughout these past couple of years of combining her passions for business, fashion, and service to make an impact. Emily has participated in many clubs and has partnered with several organizations and hospitals, including Cedars Sinai Hospital and 1736 Family Crisis Center. In recent COVID-19 circumstances, Stella and Luna have partnered with Cedars Sinai hospital in supporting essential frontline workers by donating free handmade jewelry as a way to show gratitude towards healthcare workers and their commitment to her community. Emily finds ways to truly embody the Architect of Change team’s motto of “Challenge what is, imagine what can be, and move humanity forward.” If you would like to support Emily in her fight against domestic violence and her desire to be part of a better future, shop her handmade jewelry and hair accessories online at stellaandluna.org.