Scholar Profiles - Alexandra Pennington

Name: Alexandra Pennington

Classification: Close Scholar Alum (Class of 2021)

Major: English

Hometown: Pelion, South Carolina

Primary Volunteering Site: Tender Hearts Ministry Thrift Store

What makes the Close Scholars Program special to you?

My peers whom I volunteer alongside and engage with during our professional development activities and other events would have to be the most special part of the Close Scholars Program. I am thankful for the friendships that have been formed off of the fundamental love we all share for serving others, and I have enjoyed getting to watch everyone grow as leaders and succeed both academically and out in the community. I don't think I would have gotten out of my comfort zone or matured as a servant leader without the support from the people I have connected with as a result of this organization.

What do you love about the Close Scholars Program?

I love that I have the opportunity to combine service learning with my academic life at Winthrop to make my undergraduate years more fulfilling. The Close Scholars Program allows me to reach out to my local community and earn the valuable skills of civic responsibility and leadership that are necessary components for being engaged in the world.

As a servant leader, what advice do you have for Winthrop students in general?

As a servant leader, we are servants first before we are leaders. My best advice would be to focus on being empathetic to others, acknowledge perspectives that are different from yours, and show compassion in everything that you do. The aspect of leadership will stem from your commitment to these virtues because your love for putting others first will show that you are responsible and perceptive.

Why should incoming first-year students apply to the Close Scholars Program?

Applying for the Close Scholars is a challenging but worthwhile commitment in so many ways. Incoming first-year students should apply in order to give back to the Rock Hill community they are joining when they come toWinthrop. You will be introduced to wonderful companies and organizations that value the time and effort you put into helping them succeed and reach the general public. Becoming involved in a campus club or organization can be difficult at a new school, but applying for the Close Scholars Program connects you to a group of Winthrop students almost immediately, and you will be thankful for the sense of community it creates for your transition to college.

What has been your favorite community service experience and why?

My favorite community service experience would have to be when I volunteered for a few weeks at the Adult Enrichment Center right down from campus. Every Friday when I went in, seniors, middle-aged adults and retirees were so happy to see someone like me spending their day out of class with them. It was always so fun completing arts and crafts with them, playing bingo, or just talking about school or our personal lives. Everyone was so kind and welcoming, and both the employees and the senior citizens were so grateful for my simple acts of service where I was simply a helping hand or an ear to listen. I will always think back on this experience as a moment where my compassion towards other people was valued and appreciated. I knew that I was helping brighten their days, but they helped to lift my own spirits too!

Fun Fact :-)

I am the biggest horror nerd! One wouldn't guess from just looking at me, but I love watching all different kinds of horror movies, reading scary stories and attending horror conventions whenever I can.

Favorite Book

"The Green Mile" by Stephen King

Favorite Performer

Julie Andrews

Favorite Hobby