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Alexandra De Lagrave

1155

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Finalist

Bio

I try to distract myself from the low light that surrounds me and that “doctor’s office” scent. Looking around with my 5-year-old eyes, I wonder why I have to come to this place and talk about my feelings while my friends get to go to the park. “Have you tried the breathing techniques that we’ve talked about?”, my therapist asks. I reply with a simple “Yeah”. The nervous thoughts that I shared in therapy were typical worries for a 5-year-old. But, my anxious thoughts and fears would cause me to become physically ill. Waves of nausea would debilitate me, tears would flow down my cheeks. I hated the amount of stress that consumed my day-to-day life. It wasn’t fair. What was wrong with me? As I have grown, I have experienced events that have continued to affect my mental health: my parents’ divorce, the loss of my grandfather, and the abandonment by my father. Through these challenges, I have learned new techniques and tried different medications that helped reduce my anxious tendencies. I have worked hard to overcome my daily battle of my incurable disease. Despite all the trials and tribulations, there has only been one remedy that has worked consistently over the years. It has not been the way that I breathe or the blue and orange pill that I take. It has been communication. Through communication and compassion, I strive to help others through their struggles, as I've been helped through mine. It has inspired me to work with children in the future, whether that be through psychology or nursing. I now look back on my younger self and thank her for her worries.

Education

Mater Dei Catholic High School

High School
2020 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Criminology
    • Psychology, General
    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing
    • Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Mental Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Research

      • Biological and Physical Sciences

        Mater Dei Catholic High School — Student Researcher
        2023 – 2023

      Arts

      • Joseph Advento/St. Rose of Lima

        Performance Art
        Funeral Mass (2020)
        2020 – 2020
      • Joseph Advento/St. Rose of Lima

        Performance Art
        Wedding Mass (2023)
        2023 – Present
      • Advento Music and Performance (AMP)

        Performance Art
        St. Rose of Lima Church Centennial Celebration (2021)
        2019 – 2022
      • St. Rose of Lima Glee

        Performance Art
        Beauty and the Beast (2018), Mulan (2019), Lion King (virtual 2020)
        2015 – 2020

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Lighthouse Church — Volunteer
        2023 – Present
      • Volunteering

        Juan Diego Academy STEM Science Camp — Volunteer
        2023 – 2023
      • Volunteering

        HEY Operation — Volunteer
        2022 – 2022
      • Volunteering

        Glee of St. Rose of Lima — Volunteer/Former Glee Captain
        2021 – Present
      • Volunteering

        Ambassadors for Christ Corps (Mater Dei Catholic High School) — Ambassador
        2021 – Present

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Volunteering

      Mental Health Importance Scholarship
      People are often reminded that those who smile and laugh the most are often the ones who are struggling the most. I believe that this is a true statement. While I might look happy and “normal” on the outside, I operate differently than the “normal” person on the inside. And while it is not easy to explain this to other people, I believe that it is important to bring awareness to mental health issues and be an advocate for those struggling. I believe that my mental health is important because it is part of who I am and directly affects who I am socially, emotionally, and psychologically. When I say that I operate differently than the “normal” person, I mean that my brain processes things differently. I overthink pretty much everything and worry about the tiniest detail of things. When my mental health declined last year, I lost motivation for all things related to school - going to school, doing classwork/homework, studying for tests, talking to people, etc. I started withdrawing from my friends and socializing less, but not realizing what I was actually doing until after a few months. Homework assignments were taking me way too long to complete. And, I was getting behind. I cried A LOT and was exhausted. I think I missed one day of school a week in my second semester! I had no drive to do anything. This is what I mean when I say it directly affects who I am socially, emotionally, and psychologically. Maintaining my mental health is important, because if I don’t give my brain a break (like after school) or work through school breaks and/or lunch periods, I will inevitably have a meltdown. By not allowing my brain to have proper breaks, I become overwhelmed, exhausted, and drained at a faster pace than I usually do. When this happens, I can’t focus and I’m very unproductive. Sometimes it can really derail my whole day, sometimes my week, and has lasted for longer periods (as I’ve already mentioned). I am also prescribed medication daily and have to consistently take my meds to ensure that my body is getting what it needs. This can be challenging for me. I really have to work at maintaining my mental wellness. One way I work at maintaining my mental wellness is by creating a daily routine for taking my medication. Without a routine, I easily forget. However, the biggest way that I work at maintaining my mental wellness is through communicating with others and not allowing myself to suppress my feelings. Through my journey and struggles with mental health, I have learned to become very open and honest about how I am feeling. I maintain trusting relationships with my teachers and friends at school, which allows me to know that I always have a team of people willing to help me when I am away from home. But most importantly, I have built a relationship with my mom that allows me to always feels safe, accepted, and loved. Knowing that I am always able to talk to my mom about anything has been the best way of maintaining my mental wellness. I believe that people with invisible illnesses, such as mental illnesses or disorders, need more understanding, support, and communication in all aspects of their lives. This includes support at school, work, home, and even when making small talk with a stranger. Your mental health doesn’t have to be “good” or “perfect”, but as long as you acknowledge what you’re feeling and are doing your best, no one should be able to ask for more.
      Harry Potter and the Sorting Hat Scholarship
      That’s easy! I would absolutely be a part of the Gryffindor house. Gryffindors are known for their bravery, sense of honor, loyalty, and boldness. And I can relate to these traits. I wouldn't really call myself "brave", but I'm not afraid to speak my mind and/or opinions. Which I know is hard for some people to do, particularly teens. Sometimes this can be seen as being "bold" too. I think it's more a matter of knowing yourself, knowing what you believe in, and having the confidence to express those beliefs. I would say that Harry, Hermione, and Ron have that type of confidence. So I would fit in perfectly with their group! However, Gryffindors are more than just confident, brave, and bold. I believe that Gryffindors have many other great traits that align with mine. They are honest - and I can’t lie. I'm not joking. My mind and body don’t allow me to be anything but honest. If I even consider not being truthful, my anxiety starts building - and I can’t go through with it. Seriously, ask my mom. Gryffindors are responsible, which also defines me. I’ve always been a very responsible student and child, maybe because I was an only child until I was 11. (And pretty much my whole life, since I don’t live with my half-siblings.) Members of the Gryffindor house are also studious, just like me! They are also very hardworking, which I think goes hand-in-hand with being studious. At least it does for me because I work hard to keep my grades up. I have high expectations of myself. I get mostly A’s and don’t like seeing a minus after the letter grade. I anticipate teachers entering grades for assignments and tests, just waiting to see my score and how it may affect my overall grade. (I may or may not check my grades hourly…) Lastly, Gryffindors also have a strong moral center, which could be tied to their sense of honor. Having a strong moral center is something that’s not easy to maintain as a teenager today. Honestly, I sometimes don’t fit in because of my moral compass and have to face the “consequences” of not fitting in - being left out or not getting invited somewhere - because of it. However, my moral center is an important part of who I am, so people will either accept me for the Hermione that I am, or they won’t.