Abby McElroy is a first-year student at Harvard College. She graduated in 2019 from Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, where she was Class Speaker at Commencement.
Abby is passionate about women's rights, education, literature, and the outdoors.
When Amnion Pregnancy Center presented a biased abstinence-only program in her sophomore year health classes, Abby took a stand and spoke up at her local school board. Amnion has since been banned from Strath Haven, and she is seeking to influence the same change in other area high schools.
When she's not advocating for social justice and comprehensive, fact-based sex education, Abby likes to read anything and everything. Her favorite book is Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (she's read it five times), and she returns to the Anne of Green Gables series again and again. She tries to convince everyone she knows to read Mansfield Park and Slaughterhouse Five. She's also a huge poetry fan and conducts solo a "Poem in Your Pocket" Day every spring by passing out poems on tiny slips of paper and encouraging random people to carry and read them. She was a founding member of a Jane Austen book club.
And then there's the outdoors, which combines all of her other interests. Abby runs, plays Ultimate Frisbee, and does karate for exercise, but she walks and climbs trees for fun. She takes photos of clouds and sends them to friends in need of a pick-me-up. She reads in the garden, she sings as she walks through tiny Italian villages, and she marches and runs for social causes.
Abby is a Quaker vegetarian; in the future, she sees herself joining the Peace Corps and working in a service profession.
When she's not away at college, Abby lives half-time with her dad and sister in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, and the other half of the time with her mom, stepdad, sister, two stepsisters, and two small dogs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.