The Wily Pack gathered at the Harvard Club of Boston on November 29 for an evening of conversation and reflection with acclaimed author Emi Nietfeld (Harvard University ‘15) and accomplished facilitator Treasure Brooks (Harvard University ‘22).

Emi and Treasure both arrived on Harvard’s campus already possessing the talent, motivation and self-reliance to thrive in college. They also both arrived independently: still processing the aftermath of challenging experiences such as homelessness and foster care, and intending to make their way through the next four years without a reliable support system.

The same year Emi graduated from Harvard, the Wily Network was founded to support Boston-area college students who are navigating their lives and education independently.

Emi—who could have been a Wily Scholar—joined Treasure—an alum of the Wily Network’s program—to explore their experiences leading up to college, on campus, and into their careers. Through their stories, we were asked to consider what true acceptance means.

Thank you to our Event Committee

Joy Denomme, Co-chair
Mary Beth Lisman, Co-chair
Donna Bovi
Terrie Hallal
Cara Maxwell
Annie Montesano
Hilary Steinert

“Nietfeld’s gifts for capturing the fury of living at the mercy of bad circumstances, for critiquing the hero’s journey even while she tells it, make Acceptance a remarkable memoir.”
New York Times Book Review

“The memoir is an incandescent tale of grit and rage, written in a voice resonant with heart, humor, and hope. “
Boston Globe Book Review

“A raw, insightful memoir—from childhood neglect to Harvard and Big Tech—tenderly baring the underbelly of what we call ‘success.’”
People

Interested in hosting a book group with Emi and Wily’s Executive Director Judi Alperin King? Reach out to Ashley Linell at ashley@thewilynetwork.org

Emi Nietfeld
she/her

Harvard University ’15

Emi Nietfeld is the author of Acceptance (Penguin Press ‘22), a memoir of her journey through foster care and homelessness, interrogating the true meanings of resilience, ambition, and success. After graduating from Harvard in 2015, she worked as a software engineer, an experience she wrote about in her viral New York Times essay, “After Working At Google, I’ll Never Let Myself Love a Job Again.”

She’s passionate about mental health, helping young people navigate their careers, and the connection between engineering and creativity. A dynamic, sought-after speaker, she can be found on podcasts, leading conference keynotes, and speaking at universities and companies alike.

Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in The Atlantic, Teen Vogue, Fortune, The Information, and other publications, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and noted in The Best American Essays.

Treasure Brooks
she/they

Harvard University ’22

Treasure Brooks is a multidisciplinary artist, cultural critic and strategist. She is co-founder and former Multimedia Editor of The Meteor, a media company launched under the direction of former editor-in-chief Glamour and Self, Cindi Leive. Treasure has directed, edited and been featured in pieces for publications such as Teen Vogue, Audible, TED, Harper’s Bazaar, The Hollywood Reporter, Essence, among others. As a strategist, she has overseen internal research and international marketing campaigns for Meta, Spotify, Turner, and PBS.

As a student activist, Treasure led a nationwide initiative to decolonize curricula in higher education and expand resources and protections for low-income and first-generation college students. Before forging her path in media, Treasure was a law clerk for the Baltimore City Public Defender’s office and a legal intern with the Shepard Higher Education Consortium on Poverty. She is a frequent speaker and writer on topics of race, class, gender, environmentalism, and spirituality.

Treasure Brooks
she/they
Harvard University ’22

Treasure Brooks is a multidisciplinary artist, cultural critic and strategist. She is co-founder and former Multimedia Editor of The Meteor, a media company launched under the direction of former editor-in-chief Glamour and Self, Cindi Leive. Treasure has directed, edited and been featured in pieces for publications such as Teen Vogue, Audible, TED, Harper’s Bazaar, The Hollywood Reporter, Essence, among others. As a strategist, she has overseen internal research and international marketing campaigns for Meta, Spotify, Turner, and PBS.

As a student activist at Middlebury College, Treasure led a nationwide initiative to decolonize curricula in higher education and expand resources and protections for low-income and first-generation college students. After transferring to Harvard in 2019, she graduated into her work as an abolitionist organizer, sending care packages and commissary funding to incarcerated LGBTQ members across New York state. In the summer of 2020, she was photographed by The New York Times while leading a demonstration following the death of George Floyd. Just prior to forging her path in media, Treasure was a law clerk for the Baltimore City Public Defender’s office and a legal intern with the Shepard Higher Education Consortium on Poverty.

In 2022 Treasure graduated with highest honors from Harvard University with a degree in Art, Film and Visual Studies. Her multimedia thesis exhibition “Sleep Under Ladders” garnered widespread accolades from the university, earning her the Council Prize for Visual Arts from Harvard’s Council of The Arts, the Rudolf Arnheim Prize for Excellence in Visual Arts with Integrated Scholarly Research and the David McCord Prize for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. In 2023 @Instagram featured Treasure as one of their six inaugural “Futuremakers” for her work as an avant-garde artist; her practice including dance, writing, sculpture, film and social experimentation. She is a frequent speaker and writer on topics of race, class, gender, environmentalism, and spirituality. In May, she will be 25 years old.

We’d love to hear from you.

We’d love to hear from you.