In the summer of 2020, when it became clear the pandemic would be a long-term situation, Caroline Halliday ’21 did not miss a beat. She pivoted plans for her social science certificate project and harvested food that she could distribute to families in need. She also represented Hutchison students’ voices on a committee convened by the administration to plan for a safe and healthy 2020-21 school year. Her leadership in and out of the classroom earned her recognition as a “2021 Girl Who Means Business,” an honor bestowed by the Memphis Business Journal on young women who contribute to their community and “embody so much of what we wish to see in generations to come,” according to the publication.
Caroline had her Hutchison social science certificate project all planned out. She wanted to start a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vegetable subscription service for Hutchison families, but with a pay-it-forward twist: for every subscription purchased by a Hutchison family, she would provide one for a family in need in Memphis. Then the pandemic hit, and her plans got turned upside down.
Caroline didn't let that stop her. She shifted course and developed a partnership with New Hope Christian Academy. Mary Riddle, our director of environmental education and sustainability, gave her a crash course in farm management, and Caroline got to work. She planned, planted, and cultivated the farm all summer long, and each week she shared the bounty of her harvest with families at New Hope.
Her commitment to these pandemic-related changes was a predictable outcome for a student who is keenly aware of the world around her and what role she can play as a responsible global citizen. Caroline has been in the Government Club since freshman year. As one of the most active groups on campus, the girls meet weekly for 30 minutes before school to discuss domestic and international current events.
Caroline’s social science certificate project reflects her interest in environmental studies. “I went into this project with a certain idea of how I thought it would go, but everything changed. I ended up getting far more out of it than I expected,” said Caroline. “I was able to make meaningful connections with my community at Hutchison, as well as the people at New Hope. What I've come to realize is that changing my project and creatively addressing the constraints of the pandemic actually embodies the spirit of the social sciences. It gave me the opportunity to learn about the world, build new relationships, and do a small part to help bolster our local community food system.”
David Vaughan, New Hope farm manager, talked about the success of the partnership and Caroline’s eagerness to help: “Caroline is an absolute delight. She has such a good spirit and a willingness to help in any way. I’m really glad we had the chance to partner!”
A born leader who is equal parts creative, resilient, organized, and compassionate, Caroline pours her heart and soul into every project and plants seeds of goodwill wherever she goes.