Abby McElroy is a senior at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, Pennsylvania.
Abby is passionate about four things: women's rights, music, 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 spends her time singing and playing French horn. She is a member of all three choirs at her high school, including the select a cappella group Silvertones, with which she has toured Italy. She plays French horn in her school's concert band as well as in Bravo Brass (one of only two year-round youth brass ensembles in the country) and Sinfonia (a select Philadelphia youth orchestra). She has been chosen for and performed with district, regional, and state music festivals. In the fall, Abby plays the mellophone in the Strath Haven Marching Band, the second-largest high school marching band in the country.
When Abby says she's passionate about literature, she means that she 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 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.
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.