The PCA Blog

PCA Voices

Growing Up With Sports in Compton, From PCA Staff Member Emerald Leiataua

by Emerald Leiataua


Multi-sport athlete growing up: Softball and Volleyball

How has being a woman playing sports affected your life?

Being a woman playing sports has empowered me to be confident, give me a platform to showcase my talents, and meet other inspiring women out there.

Tell us a story about an extraordinary achievement you've had in sports.

Growing up in Compton, CA, there were several environmental influences that could've easily steered my path into a different route, but it was through sports and life lessons I've learned in sports that I was able to overcome adversity. When my parents migrated from the Pacific Islands of Samoa, they adjusted to the American lifestyle and the one thing that was familiar to them back home on the island was sports. Sports is such a universal language that one can easily grasp. Through sports, I have learned and gained so much, that my extraordinary achievement is being able to provide opportunities and empower my community through sports because of my positive experience in sports. I honestly think that if I didn't play sports growing up, I feel like I wouldn't be where I am today. Through sports, I was able to create positive relationships, situational awareness, and future focus.

Emerald has spent her professional career working and interning at various non-profits, while also working as a Graduate Assistant in Collegiate Athletic Departments at the University of Southern California, University of California- Irvine, and University of California- Riverside.

Stay connected