“There are so many expectations of what a high school is or should be. I like to go against that by sitting at a different lunch table every day, wearing roller skates to a class presentation or dawning a full-on 80s Jane Fonda workout costume to cheer on our basketball team.”
That is Hope Brindle in a nutshell. The Pierson High School salutatorian for the class of 2018, with a weighted grade point average of 103, will bring her spirited passion to Philadelphia, where she will attend the University of Pennsylvania this fall.
Brindle, a student in Pierson’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program, has been an active participant in student council, honor society and mathletes while simultaneously performing in four plays, five musicals and assisting with the middle school plays as well.
Growing up in small communities can be comforting yet limiting, says Brindle. Prior to moving to Sag Harbor, she lived in the Southampton School District, giving her a larger field of friends and acquaintances outside the halls of Pierson. “Attending different schools has helped me make friends with people from all over the island,” she says. But for Brindle, making friends has never exactly been difficult. It’s been her mission throughout high school to be remembered as someone who existed outside of the traditional limits of high school, challenging stereotypes and preconceived notions about who she was.
An abundance of personal spirit isn’t the only thing that Brindle brings to her school and her community; she also brings empathy and drive to the things she cares about. “I’ve really tried to be a more empathetic person as I’ve matured. Doing that has really allowed me to reevaluate my perspective on certain issues,” says Brindle. With a love for leadership, social activism, writing and public speaking she really strives to “engage in healthy dialogue with people instead of a conversation that has to result in winning or losing.”
Earlier this year Brindle participated in Long Island Teen Institute (LITI) — a weekend-long youth leadership conference for teenagers who have the potential to be agents of change in their communities and school. She has also worked with Planned Parenthood and “Safe in Sag Harbor” in hopes to create fun and engaging alternatives to alcohol and drug abuse for kids.
Upon her arrival in Philadelphia, Brindle will major in Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE) and also minor in writing or English Literature. It’s safe to say that her plate will be pretty full for the next four years, especially since she looks to continue her community service work upon arriving to college. “I have every intention of continuing my work in college by joining debate groups, activist groups, politic groups, or volunteer organizations,” she says. “I hope to try working with Habitat for Humanity. But I also want to dedicate a little more time to guilty pleasure activities like dancing. I think that’ll keep my college experience full and motivated and help me meet some beautiful people.”
Brindle has quite ambitious desires for the future. In the next 10 years she hopes to visit all seven continents, have a book published, work a job that excites her every single day and be continually working with charities, that is if she hasn’t already started her own already.