Alexis Foley Gets the Job Done

Alexis Foley of Whately

When Frontier Regional High School students decided they wanted to lobby the school’s administrators to install a Stryker chair so their peers who use wheelchairs could access the upper floors, Alexis Foley took a lead role.

Alexis, 16, of Whately will be a senior at Frontier Regional in the fall, and she learned lobbying and activist skills at the summer academy offered by the Center for Environmental Civics last year. “So I knew how to bring a case to someone of authority,” she says. “I took the skills I learned at the center and implemented them in other areas of my life.”

Alexis got the conversation started on the Stryker chair, and she also used what she learned at CEC to raise school supplies for young people in the Dominican Republic last year. “To do that, I needed to talk to a lot of organizations, and I had to talk to my principal and organizations affiliated with my church,” she said. “I had to follow a process. Get okays. Promote it. Advertise it.”

And she knew how, thanks to the CEC.

Before attending the CEC, Alexis says she can’t claim to have been environmentally savvy, but her family has always recycled, and she supported composting efforts at school. The CEC, “made me want to do more.” Now, she has a huge passion for protecting dolphins and has gotten herself on a distribution list created by other advocates. She hopes to be able to take on an active role and make a difference.

She also plans to work environmental activism into her college studies. “To sum up my experience with the Center for Environmental Civics, it has really broadened my knowledge of the impact that one can have on the environment and the good of the community and how to articulate to get something done,” she says.

And how about fun? Was the CEC summer academy fun?

“I did have a lot of fun,” she adds. “One of the highlights was playing Frisbee in the rain. And I met a lot of great people that I’ve kept in touch with even though we’re not in same school.”

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