• Courtnee Futch, Senior
  • Riverwood International Charter School
Courtnee Futch

In January, Courtnee Futch began work on an International Baccalaureate (IB) Literature assignment.

What started as a routine essay became a 10-page paper about society’s complacency with mediocrity. Long past its due date, the essay, titled “What’s Wrong With You?” was completed in August.

“My junior year in high school, it dawned on me that I was settling,” Futch said. “Mediocrity was all around me, and it seemed as though I was complacent with that. This paper is one of self-realization, using mediums outside of myself to convey a message that everyone can relate to. When do we set the bar for expectations? And since when is it acceptable to barely meet that bar?”

An enthusiastic reader and gifted writer, Futch enjoys the challenging curriculum offered by an IB Literature class, for which she has received a special honor as an outstanding student.

“I’ve always loved to write and express my creativity,” Futch said. “Specifically through essays and poems.”

Aside from writing, one of Futch’s chief passions is serving her community.

In 2006, Futch became involved with a newly established youth organization called the Stewart Foundation, an organization that encourages youth through local programs to become better leaders.

Founded by Hank Stewart and Gwen Mason, the organization is geared toward “empowering the whole child: mind, body, and soul,” Futch said.

“I have been a part of it from the very beginning four years ago and since then my role has progressed,” Futch said.

Futch now serves as president of the organization and helps organize workshops on etiquette, speech skills, leadership skills, and character building.

Because of her academic and philanthropic achievements, Futch was chosen to represent her school at Georgia’s American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, an annual mock government meeting in Statesboro. Although Futch never had much interest in politics, she said she enjoyed learning more about America’s history.

“I gained a more profound appreciation for the law-making process and for the American flag,” said Futch.

Alongside poetry and community service, cooking has been a lifelong passion of Futch’s. “I’ve enjoyed cooking from a very early age,” Futch said. “My mother cooks and she grew up with her mother in the kitchen. So, I suppose, it’s a generational desire of mine.”

Futch is a three-year member of Riverwood’s Culinary Team. The team competes against high schools from around Georgia in an annual cooking challenge. Although she says winning competitions is fun, Futch prefers the satisfaction that comes with cooking a good meal with her family.

“Cooking is a release for me, “ Futch said. “At the end of a stressful day, to come home and cook a big pot of spaghetti or make a loaf of bread, is my sense of refuge.”

What’s Next:

Futch has submitted applications to two of her top schools, Elon University in North Carolina and Tulane University in Louisiana.Regardless of where she attends school, Futch welcomes the unpredictability and opportunity that she anticipates will come with college life.

“Knowing what happens tomorrow limits what we will accomplish today,” Futch said. “I’m excited about being spontaneous and trying new things.”

–Abby Kron