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Student Profile: Hilary Holbrook ’09

When Hilary Holbrook began her college search, she looked everywhere but in front of her. As the youngest in a line of four generations of Hope grads, with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins having attended, Hilary wasn’t sure that she wanted to follow in their footsteps simply for the sake of tradition.

She applied to 12 different schools in an effort to find her perfect fit, but in the end she realized that the fact that her family was invested in Hope “didn’t mean that I couldn’t decide to go for myself. And this is where I’m supposed to be.” For Hilary, coming to Hope was like coming home.

With two years at Hope under her belt, Hilary has found her niche. A special education major, Hilary spends much of her time involved in organizations that are helping her develop her passion for teaching. While on campus, she spends time working with CASA, the Children’s After School Achievement program, an afterschool program for elementary school children. She is also involved in the Holland community, representing Hope while working with Special Ed. Ministries, a group for adults with disabilities at Third Reformed Church. That experience, she notes, “taught me so much” about how different people connect with God in different ways.

In between working with CASA and Special Ed. Ministries, Hilary has worked in the admissions office and the provost’s office. She is also involved in Hope’s longest tradition, the Pull tug-of-war. As a freshman, Hilary and a friend stumbled by chance into a Pull meeting during orientation and she became an Odd-Year Moraler. The shared experiences of the Pull allowed Hilary to develop an exceptionally close-knit group of friends. “I’m still friends with those 39 people.”

Though she loves being involved in the extracurricular activities Hope has to offer, Hilary is most excited about her education major. “It’s really exciting to know that we’re going to learn how to teach,” she says. She appreciates the degree to which her professors are involved in their teaching. “Every professor I’ve had has given me office hours and his or her home phone number. Every professor.”

With Hope having played so prominent a role in her family’s past, it is perhaps fitting that personal connections have been such a meaningful part of her experience at the college. “Everyone talks about Hope and the people,” she says, “ and it’s true. Everyone is welcoming and warm. I have found friends that I know I’ll be with forever. I don’t think there are people like this everywhere.”

This profile was written by Megan E. Dougherty, a 2007 Hope College graduate from Normal, Ill., for the 2007-08 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.