Ava Cowles, a junior at Ridgefield High School, can be best described in two words – tenacious and passionate. When something piques Ava’s curiosity she dives in with intensity, researching the topic to learn all she can about it. At an early age theater was her passion so, in addition to watching way too many old musicals, movies, and attending Broadway shows, she participated in children’s theater at the Ridgefield Theater Barn, both as an actor and as part of student crew. She also attended Broadway Artists’ Alliance Summer intensives; and became a member of the Ridgefield High School Company, participating in everything from acting to sound design.
Ava also has an intense interest in US History, Politics and Government. While this passion may have been accelerated when she saw Hamilton on Broadway, it certainly came to the forefront over the last two years, as she grew to understand the impact of the 2016 Presidential Election, and the need for political organization and activism to advocate for basic rights. This led her to study American Politics at Georgetown University Summer Institute this past summer. During this intensive, she was part of a mock government where she was selected to be a Campaign Director, creating a political campaign strategy to promote her mock presidential candidate. She was responsible for creating a platform, political strategy, liaising with interest groups and lobbying to get her candidate elected. From this experience she learned the ins and outs of the political process, and her candidate won the election!
In addition to earning Honors and High Honors every quarter, Ava dedicates her time to volunteering with the National Charity League where she held positions on the Nominating Committee as Corresponding Secretary and VP of Programs for her class. As a result of her commitment to volunteering, Ava received the Presidential Volunteer Award Medal twice.
Ava’s other love is working with young children and volunteering at Camp Jewell YMCA. After participating in their Leader in Training program, she applied her skills and successfully completed the Counselor in Training program this past summer. She spent a total of 50 hours of community service participating at various camp activities from facilities improvements, to guiding young campers in team building exercises to ensure they develop a love for camp. . . just like Ava does.