top of page

Barrington Lions Club President Cat Horn (right) awarded the 2024 Scholarship to Alexandra Hope

Essay (250-500 words).  Reflect on your community service experiences and accomplishments.  Why is community service important to you and how has your life been touched and shaped by these experiences?

I have been able to do two major acts of service, specifically for the special needs community while in high school. First, as the President/Director of our school’s Unified Theatre Program. Acting has been a huge passion of mine since I was a little girl. I’ve earned starring roles in all of my school productions since the first grade playing many diverse roles from Scar in The Lion King to Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of OZ. Unified Theater is an organization that strives to shine a spotlight on ability, encouraging those of all abilities to have their moment in the spotlight to perform a show that, year after year, has family members and friends in fits of laughter, filled with pride and joy. From this experience, I learned that theater can be about far more than just the applause. Collaborative. Patient. Empathetic. Flexible. Resilient. These are only a few of the traits I have grown to embody in this extraordinarily rewarding role. As the Director of a fully student-run performance, it was 100% on me and my Producer to make sure the show was perfect. After months of rehearsals, writing the script working to train the tech and stage, and selecting costumes our show was performed flawlessly and I have never had a prouder moment than taking my bow at the very end of the show. Seeing the proud families of the fifteen-plus special needs individuals who starred in the show was the highlight of my year.

Additionally, for my senior project, I knew I wanted to do something to benefit Rett Syndrome Research. My 11-year-old sister has Rett, which is a rare genetic condition that affects the person's ability to speak and have normal motor function as well as growth. Because this is such a personal issue to me, I knew I would be dedicated to completing it and doing it well. So, I spent 3 months planning and organizing a charity gala that raised over $40,000 for the Rett Syndrome Research Trust all donated in honor of my sister Emerson. I worked with Tim Freeman, the event coordinator for the Rett Syndrome Research Trust, as well as small businesses who sponsored the event, a silent auction company, small businesses which I sourced silent auction items from, and the event planners at the venue. We had 100- plus guests and it was a smashing success. I was filled with emotion when delivering my speech about my sister because of how much this cause obviously means to myself and my family and I am extremely proud of the fact that I was able to do this for my sister and all other girls and families affected by Rett syndrome.  I hope that this money will make a difference. My life has been touched by both of these experiences: I have learned compassion, grace, intense kindness, and selflessness through these services and I am proud to have done them both.

bottom of page