In an age where cynicism and superficiality seem to abound, Ms. Epstein has shown the warmth, honesty, and generosity of spirit that reflect the qualities sought to be instilled in all of the students at The Meadows School.
Her commitment to community service began in ninth grade when she volunteered more than 70 hours of time at Summerlin Hospital. She has continued that commitment through tenth and eleventh grades, assisting personnel in the hospital in translating English to Spanish and Spanish to English, amongst other duties.
At the beginning of this school year, Ms. Epstein became aware of a need in a nearby elementary school for tutorial assistance for teachers facing large classes and growing enrollment. She became determined to help fill this need and established the “Meadows Mentors” program at the Katz-McMillan Elementary School. The goal of the program has been to provide individualized attention in reading in the school, and thereby, to assist the teachers. Ms. Epstein has organized a group of between 10 and 20 students who leave the school 30 minutes early Mondays through Thursdays to meet with students and to spend 45 minutes reading to them. She coordinates the schedules and helps to train the volunteers.
The “Meadows Mentors” program has been very successful not only for the students of Katz-McMillan, but also for the student volunteers as well. She reports that the kids at Katz-McMillan consider some of the tutors as “good friends” and that it is common for tutors to leave the school with handmade “thank-you” notes or big hugs from their students.
The school reports that the tutors have been effective in their role and have provided much needed individualized attention for the youngsters. We have received a great deal of positive feedback as a result of this program and are, of course, very impressed with Alex’s passion and commitment to this ongoing project.
In addition to her community service efforts, Ms. Epstein remains one of the top students in her grade level while challenging a daunting schedule of honors and Advanced Placement classes. She has earned the respect of both her peers and the faculty for her outstanding efforts. Ms. Epstein is a scholar and a humanitarian.