“Activism is not academic, and yet I feel as though it teaches me the most about how to be the best person I can be, not the best student in the classroom,” says Amy Coulter Schully, an incoming junior at Country Day for the 2010-’11 school year.

Schully is involved in every possible school organization that she could fit in her schedule. She is a co-founder of the Green Club, a member of People Against Xenophobia, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Science Olympiad and Amnesty International, Speech and Debate and a part of the Literary Magazine.

As co-founder of the Green Club, Schully is educating Country Day’s community on how small changes in everyday tasks add to real, significant change. Schully says, “I think people, teenagers especially, because of insecurities, can be extremely reluctant and fearful of change, and through activism I’m able to prove that change isn’t scary, and that it doesn’t have to be drastic to make a difference.”

The Green Club and Schully took the philosophy, “Think Globally, Act Locally” to heart by hosting The 100 Mile Meal for Country Day. Schully and the rest of The Green Club traveled to the Crescent City Farmer’s Market to collect ingredients for a Louisiana-grown lunch.

“We hoped that the meal would really make students think about where their food comes from, because, after all, how many of us can say we know exactly where and how everything we put into our bodies was grown,” says Schully.

“Food is easy to share with your community, and whether it’s in buying it locally, meeting the farmers who grew it with their own hands, preparing it with the chefs at our school or enjoying it with friends at lunch, it always brings people together,” says Schully. “I think that was why this event generated such a positive response.”

Schully has learned many things from her activism, from patience to empathy. “I have learned that if you are not successful in bringing about change, you have to take a step back and realize that setbacks do not define your work or ability, but rather are there to help you gain perspective and push you outside of your comfort zone – something I’m very thankful for,” she says.

Schully believes that the only pre-requisite for her future job isn’t the job itself but a job that can express her talents for other people’s benefit; and says her talents range from cooking, running and reading to academics and fulfilling leadership roles.

“I am certain that activism will always be a significant part of life; it may even constitute my future career,” says Schully. “I cannot bear to think of myself in 20 years at a monotonous nine-to-five desk job, even if it is of importance.”