LFA’s Anna Schilling given Semper Fidelis All-American Award and attends program in DC


Lilly Drury, Editor-in-Chief

The Semper Fidelis All American Battles Won Academy is a program run by the United States Marines that allows nominated high school juniors to travel to Washington D.C. and participate in a specialized program. There are certain grade requirements, leadership roles, as well as commitment to service that nominees must have accumulated. To anyone who knows Anna Schilling, it comes as no surprise that she was given this exemplary honor.
Schilling has been class president since her sophomore year, and continues to be a leader at LFA as the 2019-2020 All School President. She has been a leading force on the LFA Girls Varsity Tennis team since her freshman year, and named captain as a senior. She is also one of the top runners on the LFA Track and Field team. In her junior year, Schilling  created the Roots and Shoots Club which focuses on Jane Goodall’s mission  of environmental advocacy in order to help animals, people, and the planet. Anna has held several fundraisers through the organization including her annual 5k run which raises money to dedicate to the Goodall Institute.
Schilling was nominated by LFA’s Athletic Director, Darrin Madeley, at the beginning of her junior year.
“Anna is the kind of student that as an AD, I really appreciate,” Madeley said. “She is always smiling and seems to love being part of any team. The Goodall Run shows that she cares more about the environment than herself, and that’s rare and special. I was so happy that she received the award and the 4 days in Washington were days that I won’t forget. The Marines were amazing and Anna showed why she is a Semper Fidelis All American. While there, she found a couple students that were struggling and she made sure they had someone.”
After filling out the application, Schilling was accepted into the program, and the following summer participated in the trip to Washington DC.
“It was a very big honor because it was given from the Marines,” Schilling says when asked about what it meant to her. “It was very rewarding to be a part of such an amazing group of people. It was amazing to recognized by the Marines and meant to much to me especially because they dedicate their lives for service to our country.”
The program trip was something that Schilling will never forgot.
“The trip was a very cool experience,” she reminisced.
The program took place in DC, and Schilling attended the four day long venture over the summer alongside Madeley.
“The first day, we went to Quantico and went through typical training for a Marine, explored the Marine Museum, and explored D.C.” she explained.
When asked about her favorite part, Schilling responded, “Going through their obstacle course at Quantico. The second day, we went to American University and worked with USA Wrestling team to learn how to wrestle and did cross fit challenges.”
Besides challenges, they also did service and other fun activities.
“We built bikes for the Boys and Girls Club and saw a performance from Action Sports Association,” Schilling said.
“That night, they closed the National Archives for us and we got to explore it on a personal tour. One the last day, we had a scavenger hunt around the National Mall. They closed the trip with a ceremony with 3 guest speakers, ESPN news caster, Sage Steele, San Antonio Spurs coach, Becky Hamon, and Pittsburgh Steelers running back, James Connor. It was a very fun and rewarding experience.”
Schilling was not only able to experience this program, but also had the opportunity to connect with a whole network of people.
“I met a lot of new, very cool people. I learned a lot about the different service in our country, like the Marines, the Navy, the Air Force,” Schilling recounts, “So many people have many intense struggles and stories of how they have overcome their battles.”
In addition to the trip to D.C., Schilling was also the main subject of a video that followed her through her school day, which included multiple interviews. “They selected 10 people that were accepted and filmed videos of each of us. They followed me throughout the whole day filming and interviewing my family, close family friends, and Mr. Madeley,” Schilling explained. “Although it was awkward at first, it was a very fun experience.”
To Anna Schilling this was an experience of a lifetime, and one that will certainly be remembered for the rest of her life. Schilling gracefully represented LFA throughout the whole program, and anyone who is part of the Lake Forest Academy community can attest that this honor was rightfully given.