HONOLULU(KHON2) — One 8-year-old from Waianae got a big surprise Saturday. She found out she won a seat at a special nationwide Board of Imagination.

Emma Irwin spent Saturday morning practicing for her dancer recital with her hula halau. Little did she know that her family was waiting outside to surprise her with some big news.

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“I’ve got butterflies in my stomach waiting to tell her,” Emma’s mother Ashleigh Irwin said. “I’m just so surprised I have not blown the secret.”

Ashleigh called Emma up to the stage and told her the good news: she beat over a thousand other kids nationwide to winning a spot as one of six on the Sun-Maid Board of Imagination.

Emma jumped up and hugged her mom with delight.

“We wanted you to get to (surprise you) with all your friends and everybody that’s helped vote for you and supported you,” said Philip Irwin, Emma’s father. “We are really, really proud of you.”

Emma entered the contest earlier this year.

“She submitted a creative writing story, and she was chosen as a finalist,” Ashleigh explained. “They asked her to submit a video with all kinds of questions, and kind of put her on the spot with some questions where she had to be creative in the moment.”

Once the videos were in, the public was able to vote.

Emma stole their hearts with her enthusiasm and personality.

Now she’ll be traveling to Fresno California in April to meet with the Sun-Maid executives and her fellow board members to collaborate and brainstorm new ideas for Sun-Maid products.

“I have to do taste testing and give ideas for what should be their next thing,” Emma explained.

“They make a ton of flavors, but I was thinking of having a birthday cake raisin. It is a raisin covered in White chocolate,  and with little tiny sprinkles on top,” Emma said. “Maybe with some little pop rocks and stuff so you could be like POW!”

She also won $5,000 for her college fund, $5,000 for her school to use to help foster imagination and a year’s supply worth of Sun-Maid snacks for her entire school.

“To my grandparents, if you are watching this, and my hula friends, if you watch this later, all the people that voted for me I just want to say a big thanks. It’s really special to me. Thank you so much

Emma Irwin, Sun-Maid Board of Imagination contestant winner

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Sun-Maid will soon do an official presentation of Emma’s award in front of her school.