About Elle

Elle Smith (any pronouns) is a black, queer, non-binary student, fashion designer, and public figure. They entered high school searching for a community of people like them: people who were passionate about learning, growing, and making the world a better place. Their freshman year, they revived their school's dormant Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA), and they've led the group ever since. With the hope of increasing the impact of both their own GSA and other clubs in the Austin area, Elle founded the Central Texas GSA Coalition in January of 2019. Since then, the group has attracted members from more than 20 schools and it has been a powerful organization for queer student advocacy.

Aside from advocacy work, Elle loves to learn, write, create, and dream. They start projects they know they'll never finish, in the hope that they can make something of themselves. They are a guitarist, a dancer, an artist, a designer, a student, a theatre technician, a debater, a club president, and so much more. Like everyone else on this earth, they contain multitudes.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Cedar Ridge High School (2016-present)
  • Ridgeview Middle School (2015-2016)
  • Meridian World School (2014-2015)
  • Homeschool (2013-2014)
  • Community Montessori School (2007-2013)
  • Homeschool (2006-2007)

Qualifications and Special Skills


  • OSHA Certified in Construction
  • Office Proficiency Assessment and Certification (OPAC) certified in Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, and Proofreading
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, Inkscape, Gimp, Audacity, Finale, and MuseScore
  • Proficient in French
  • Certified Junior Master Gardener

Special Skills

  • Fashion design and garment construction
  • Classical guitar
  • Gymnastics and tumbling

Work Experience

  • Editor for sustainable fashion blogger Aja Barber (2019)
  • Published contributor to the book Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You, a health and life book for LGBTQ+ teens by Kathryn Gonzales and Dr. Karen Rayne (2019)
  • Led participants through virtual reality experiences and interactive sensory games at “The Future of Storytelling” Wine and Tech Tasting at South by Southwest (2018)
  • Translated documentary trailer for “Love Is a Sensation” into French and compiled grant and festival opportunities as an intern with Keysmith Story Company (2017)
  • Student Representative for Schlechty Professional Development Focus Group to improve school for everyone--teachers, students, and administrators (2017)
  • Participated in a Human-Centered Design project on health and wellness through +Acumen and IDEO.org (2013-2014)
    • Conducted interviews and research, then prototyped, designed, tested, and refined solutions that help friends and family make choices that improve their wellness.
    • Resulted in a simple, inexpensive “Care Card” in different colors.
  • Appeared on Sesame Street (“Word on the Street with Murray”) (2011)

Community Service

  • Three trips to McAllen, Texas to aid Mexican and Central American refugees.
  • Helped to fill back-to-school backpacks for children in need.
  • Hand-selected and mailed books to incarcerated individuals through the Inside Books Project.
  • Helped to fill backpacks with food and hygiene supplies for homeless individuals and families.
  • Sorted and organized clothing donations at the Round Rock Area Serving Center.
  • Helped run my school’s annual speech and debate tournament.
  • Peer Tutoring in math

Test Scores

GPA and Class Rank

  • 4.0/4.0 GPA
  • 5.8536/5.0 GPA
  • Ranked 5 of 647

SAT, PSAT, and SAT Subject Test Scores

  • 1560 SAT (760 Verbal, 800 Math) 2018
  • 1500 PSAT (740 Verbal, 760 Math) 2018
  • 760 AP Chemistry Subject Test 2018
  • 760 Math Level II Subject Test 2019

AP Scores

  • 5 on AP Calculus BC
  • 5 on AP English Language and Composition
  • 5 on AP Psychology
  • 5 on AP Capstone (Research) project on the effects of community bail funds on racial disparities in prosecutorial outcomes
  • 5 on AP US History
  • 5 on AP World History
  • 4 on AP French Language and Culture
  • 4 on AP Chemistry
  • 4 on AP Capstone (Seminar)
  • 4 on AP Music Theory

Academic Achievements

  • National Merit Scholarship Finalist (2019)
  • National AP Scholar (2019)
  • AP Capstone Diploma (2019)
  • Silver medal in Le Grand Concours National French Contest (2016)
  • President's Gold Education Award (2016)
  • Studied Latin (2010-2013)
  • Duke Tip National Recognition for scoring in the top 10% of SAT test-takers across all grades (2013)

School Extracurricular Activities

  • Speech and Debate 2016-2019
    • President 2019-2020
    • Vice President 2018-2019
    • Treasurer 2017-2018
  • Genders and Sexualities Alliance 2016-2019
    • President 2016-2019
  • Technical Theatre 2017-2019
  • National Honor Society 2018-2019
  • Mu Alpha Theta National Math Honor Society 2017-2019
    • President 2018-2019
  • National French Honor Society 2016-2019
  • Girl-Up 2017-2019
    • Treasurer 2018-2019
  • Philosophy Club 2018-2019

School Extracurricular Achievements and Awards

  • Various speech and debate awards (2017-2019)
    • Texas Forensics Association State Qualifier in Original Oratory (2019)
    • Semi-Finals in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking at Stony Point HS (2019)
    • Semi-Finals in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking at Salado HS (2019)
    • Quarter-finals in Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Stony Point HS (2019)
    • 4th place Original Oratory at Anderson HS (2019)
    • 3rd place in Original Oratory at McNeil HS (2019)
    • 4th place in Original Oratory at Bowie HS (2018)
    • 5th place in Original Oratory at St. Michael’s HS (2018)
    • 1st place in Novice Extemporaneous speaking at Bowie HS (2018)
    • Semi-finals in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking at St. Michael’s HS (2018)
    • 5th place in Original Oratory at Chaparral Star Academy (2018)
    • 5th place in Original Oratory at Hendrickson HS (2018)
    • 2nd place in Original Oratory at Stephen F. Austin HS (2018)
    • 4th place in Original Oratory at McNeil HS (2018)
    • 6th place in Original Oratory at Bowie HS (2017)
    • 6th place in Original Oratory at Westlake HS (2017)
  • Excellence in Leadership Award (Girl Up) (2019)
  • Excellence in Leadership Award (Mu Alpha Theta) (2019)
  • University Interscholastic League (UIL) Solo Guitar Competition (2017-2018)
    • Score of 1 (the highest score) at state (2017, 2018)
    • Score of 1 (the highest score) at regionals (2017, 2018)
    • Score of 1 (the highest score) on the UIL State Music Theory Test (2017, 2018)
  • Educational Achievement in Dance Award (2016)

Non-School Extracurricular Activities

Non-School Extracurricular Achievements and Awards

  • Winner: GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network) National Student Advocate of the Year (2019)
  • Selected to attend Smith College’s Women of Distinction Program (2019)
  • Recipient of Silver Key Scholastic Art Award in Fashion (2019)
  • 1st Place in the Hill Country Classical Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition (2019)
  • 1st Prize in the Austin Pride Essay Contest (2017, 2018)
    • As the essay winner, I delivered a speech at the State Capitol to mark anniversary of the Stonewall Riots: https://www.dailytexanonline.com/2018/06/28/austin-community-comes-together-to-celebrate-the-anniversary-of-stonewall-riots
  • 1st Prize for Excellence in Literary Skills and LGBTQ+ Advocacy in the Deirdre Furr Essay Contest (2017)
    • Texas' proposed SB242 law forbids schools from withholding a student's information, even if the student has requested privacy, thus possibly outing an LGBTQ student to their parents. Why is SB242 good or bad?
    • “242 Won’t Do”: https://pflagaustin.org/2016-2017-essay
  • 1st Prize in the Guitar Foundation of America’s (GFA) International Ensemble Competition (2017)
    • Article that includes fact that my tuning knob broke right as we were about to compete: https://www.statesman.com/NEWS/20170705/Area-guitar-ensemble-wins-first-in-international-contest
  • Platinum Award at the Rainbow Dance Competition with Rise Dance Company Aye Team Hip Hop Cru (2016)
  • Mid America Guitar Camp Solo Adjudication Honor Rating 1 (the highest rating) (2014)
  • 3rd Prize in Mid America Guitar Camp Solo Contest (2013, 2014)
  • Cordovan Art School Art Show (2014)
    • First place (2014)
    • Viewer’s Choice Award (2014)

Summer Activities

  • Attended American Civil Liberties Union Summer Advocacy Institute 2018
  • Attended Texas Debate Collective 2018
  • With family in Houston, TX during my mother’s stem cell transplant to treat cancer (myeloma) 2019