ALEJANDRA, one of our Southern California scholars, is one of our top scholar athletes. Alejandra came to Boys Hope Girls Hope as a sixth-grader through a cooperating program called Project Hope, which recommends academically-promising children to Boys Hope Girls Hope. The family, recent immigrants from Guatemala, was in dire straits. Their living situation was precarious—finances were always a serious concern.
When Alejandra came to Boys Hope Girls Hope as a sixth-grader, she discovered not only a safe and secure home and a support system of people dedicated to helping her succeed. She also discovered rugby.
“I used to play football with my brothers, and I enjoyed it,” she says. “One of our residential counselors found out about it and thought maybe rugby would be something I’d like, and she got me into it.”
Alejandra joined the Fullerton Lady Lions, and fell in love with the sport. She joined a team with a winning tradition, as well. Last year, the Lady Lions were the number one girls’ rugby team in California, and were third in the nation. “I’m exhausted when I get home from practice,” she says. “It’s great being part of a team. I’ve met a lot of girls from all different schools and all different places. There’s a real family feel there.”
It’s not only on the rugby field where Alejandra excels, or where her competitive spirit comes out. She’s also on the Speech and Debate team, and her academic career has blossomed, too.
“She’s one of the most enthusiastic kids we have,” says staff. “She’s always reading—literally ten books a week. And she’s always trying to improve her grades, always seeking out help and trying to learn new things. Rugby has been great for her—it helps her work out her frustrations and clears her mind.”
She’s already researching which east coast colleges offer athletic scholarships to female rugby players.