Emily Coffin is a senior at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, VT. She is president of the Vermont Interscholastic Council; a group consisting of delegates from high schools throughout the state with a goal of fostering interscholastic relations while giving back to the academic community. She serves as a representative on her school’s student government as well, initiating and leading projects such as a used book drive to send books to start a library in Malawi through the African Library Project. Emily’s passion for the performing arts has led to her involvement in many productions including “Next to Normal”, a show about a family’s struggles with a mother battling mental illness. During the production, the theatre company was partnered with National Alliance on Mental Illness to promote awareness about mental illness and to fundraise money for the organization. She also volunteers at local theatre companies and performing arts centers to make theatre accessible to members of the community.
Emily recently partook in a leadership development and career exploration program for young women called LEAD IN, sponsored by Vermont Works for Women and Navicate. The program introduced Emily to a supportive female environment unlike anything she had ever experienced before. She in turn founded PROSIS, short for Professional Sisterhood. The soon-to-be nonprofit consists of workshops facilitated by high school girls to middle school girls about the importance of advocating for one’s self, the power of ambition, strategies to identify supportive mentors, and determining what healthy peer relations look like. By the end of the year, the program will have piloted to reach over 500 young girls in VT. She plans to continue this organization throughout her college years.
Outside of school, Emily works in a lab at University of Vermont’s College of Medicine studying colitis treatments. She loves spending time outdoors whether on the lake or in the mountains. She is very interested in pursuing a career in international health and hopes to go to medical school. She will also continue to advocate for women’s rights and help girls discover and fulfill their potentials. “Leadership is about having the courage to be the only black sheep in the flock, there is undeniable power in being different,” Emily said. “I want the youth in our country to take charge of their futures now, start implementing ideas now and make things happen. Be fearless, be bold, and be the inspiration for others to be the same.”