Emily Treadaway doesn’t see her childhood as anything extraordinary. Others might disagree.

The daughter of a single mother, she grew up in the small Central Texas town of Bangs. She will make the commencement address for summer graduates during the ceremony for Tarleton State University’s Colleges of Business Administration and Liberal and Fine Arts at 1 p.m. Aug. 10.

“My speech centers around Tarleton’s core values, specifically serving others,” she said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean going to a food pantry or doing volunteer work. You can make the difference in someone’s life just by one interaction.”

She says her mom was the perfect role model for the university’s core value of service.

“She taught me to be good to others. It’s kind of a vague phrase but it really encompasses Tarleton’s core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and especially service.”

Emily, the Outstanding Graduate in the College of Business Administration’s Management Department, is in a position both to know and to share those values. As the transfer services coordinator, she regularly interacts with students.

After an extended layoff, she decided to return to school to finish her bachelor of applied arts and science degree in business, making her husband and children partners in her educational trek.

“The biggest challenge was balancing work, home and school,” she said. “It took a lot of sacrifice of my home life to do homework instead of spending time with my family. That was the hard part.”

Perhaps like most commencement speakers, Emily is apprehensive about speaking to her fellow summer graduates, their families and friends, but she understands that a service-related responsibility accompanies the honor.

“My kids will be in the stands watching,” she said. “That’s where I’m going to focus my attention. I know they’re going to be proud of me and maybe it’ll make a change in their life, career or education choices.”

That’s extraordinary.