A Passion for Life

A Passion for Life

For Grace Lape ’10, a native of Tempe, Ariz., attending Saint Mary’s, 1800 miles away, happened by chance. In late February of her senior year in high school, she realized she did not want to attend any of her top college choices. “I needed a school that was just as focused on forming the character as the mind,” she recalls. Luckily a close friend’s mom had attended Saint Mary’s and had always said how much she loved it. She encouraged Grace to apply. After investigating it further Grace says she “realized that Saint Mary’s was the school that would help me become the person I wanted to be and not just a place to get a degree. I knew that this small, personal and value-oriented community was the best place for me on a personal level.”

Grace is pursuing her degree in humanistic studies, but she has a number of extracurricular interests as well. She participates in Friends with Sisters, a program where Saint Mary’s students are assigned a Holy Cross sister to spend time with during the week. She is also the co-president of the Right to Life Club. She became involved with the club her first year and by January was the vice president. “The Right to Life movement is something I was always passionate about. We are putting the club into action in a way that will not only reflect our values, but impact the community in a tangible and practical way.”

Continuing with her passion for the Right to Life movement, Grace took on an immense challenge this past summer by accepting an internship in New York City with Expectant Mother Care Frontline Pregnancy Centers. As an intern she counseled women who were considering abortions. “I was worried because I knew this experience would demand things of me which I knew would not be easy. I really did not know if I was ready for it.” Despite her doubts, her friends at Saint Mary’s encouraged her to take the internship and Grace listened. She decided that she would be successful if she saved just one unborn life. “It helped me grow in my faith,” Grace says of the experience. “I am much more humble. I have a different perspective on the real world.” (To read her blog entries from the summer, click here.)

With commencement nearing Grace says that Saint Mary’s has prepared her for life after college. “Saint Mary’s has helped form my character and my mind by providing me with an amazing education and people in my life who challenge and support me in my personal development. The College has given me the confidence and desire to go out into the world and do meaningful things in my life.” Although Grace is unsure what her future holds, working with crisis pregnancies could be an option. “I love the work, and if the opportunity presents itself after graduation I would do it in a heartbeat. The work is so important and challenging I can think of few other jobs for me personally that would be as fulfilling. I know it would be a meaningful way to live.”

—Caroline Baumgartner ’11