Alex Wilgoos, a senior Stonehill student, has participated in three H.O.P.E. trips. In 2011 Alex traveled to New Orleans, in 2012 he participated as an Arizona H.O.P.E. leader, and in 2013 Alex traveled internationally to Nicaragua. In reflecting on each trip Alex stated, “Describing what H.O.P.E trips have done for me is nearly impossible to do with words. The amount of emotion and soul that goes into, and come out of, a H.O.P.E trip is limitless.” Alex is an advocate for H.O.P.E. and encourages everyone to take part in the priceless experience.
In describing each H.O.P.E. trip Alex identified one common theme that tied each service trip together: solidarity. Alex stated, “You develop a bond that connects you to all of your fellow members that spreads like wildfire to all of the people that you interact with on the trip. In New Orleans, this connection spread to the members of the community that had been affected by Hurricane Katrina, in Arizona it was the members of the community that we served in the soup kitchen, and in Nicaragua it was the young family of four whose foundation of a home we were working with to establish. Yet it is not the manual work we did that left an impact on my life, it was the hand-in-hand service I was doing with those around me that changed how I view life.”
When asked about what Alex will take from each trip into his future he replied, “In the end you always get back more than you could ever even hope to give. It changes you, it molds you, and you become a better person from it. Experiencing these trips gives you a new outlook on life, it shows you that we are all members of this planet we call home, and are part of one community. It has now become my job to help create a global sense of solidarity.”
Written by KaseyLynn Berardi ’14