Lincoln teen aims to be a Warrior

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It’s never too early to set your sights on a long term goal. Just ask 13-year-old, Emma Thorson, a Twelve Bridges Middle School student who is eagerly waiting the day she can go to college. The Lincoln youth has her eyes set on attending Rocklin's William Jessup University in the fall of 2017. “Everywhere I go I hear great things about WJU. My fourth grade teacher at Twelve Bridges Elementary graduated from Jessup and loved going there,” Emma said. “My youth pastor at Bridgeway is also a graduate and told me that the university has a top notch public policy program, which is great because one day I want to be a lawyer.” Emma’s grandfather, Ron Thorson, who also happens to own Lincoln’s Neon Signs business, put it this way. “Emma is so interested in attending Jessup she has made a point of having her picture taken in front of the WJU sign for the last three years to help continue to motivate her toward her goal,” he said. Thorson thought he would help Emma become more familiar with the 128-acre campus so he decided to contact Jim Jessup, whom he had met at one of the local Chamber of Commerce events. “Emma and her mom and grandfather came over and toured the campus just last spring,” said Jim Jessup, director of Church Relations at the growing university. “I was really excited to take a tour. Once I saw everything, I just kept on thinking that the campus is so nice,” Emma added. Just a few months later, Emma signed up to attend a volleyball camp hosted by WJU’s volleyball program. “I had so much fun at the camp since I was able to room with one of my friends from Livermore,” Emma explained. “I think the camp really helped to improve my game and gave me an idea of what it would be like to live on campus.” Emma has played volleyball for the past three years and also hopes to play one day for the university’s team. Earlier this fall, the University’s Development office received a phone call from Emma’s grandfather. “I decided it might be a fun idea to make a sign for WJU,” Thorson explained. “Since I’m in the business of creating custom made neon signs for customers all around the world, I thought it would be nice to make one for my granddaughter’s favorite university.” Thorson has owned and operated Neon Signs for the past ten years since he relocated from Livermore. He has made signs for numerous businesses including, Starbucks, McDonalds and Nike. “This has been a fantastic move for me and my family,” Thorson admits. “This area has provided a fantastic environment for both of my granddaughters to grow up in. I am so pleased that we made the decision to move here when we did.” Earlier this month, Emma and her grandfather presented the sign to the university. It won’t find its permanent home until next fall when the university’s latest expansion project is due for completion. The $17 million campus expansion will add 54,000-square-feet of new dining, intercollegiate athletic and classroom facilities to accommodate the growing number of students. Maybe one day, Emma will be one of those students, majoring in public policy and playing volleyball for the Warriors. ~ Staff report