Strong Families, Strong Daughters Blog

How Young Women Can Build Their Future in High School

For Alexandra DeSanctis (Oakcrest Class of 2012), writing has always been a calling. "When I graduated from Oakcrest and went on to Notre Dame, I already knew that I wanted to use my talents as a writer and my love of history and politics to become a journalist," she says. Today, she's living that dream as a staff writer for National Review, where she covers politics and culture.

"My Oakcrest education was invaluable, because it initiated in me a strong understanding of what I believe and why I believe it," Alexandra says. "At Oakcrest, we were not only taught the truth, but we were encouraged to ask questions about it so that we could come to understand it more deeply and take ownership of our beliefs." Armed with this passion for truth and the courage to explore difficult questions, Alexandra attended the University of Notre Dame and, after graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science and minors in constitutional studies and theology, accepted a fellowship at 
National Review. She was later hired as a full-time staff writer, and in her position she's covered a variety of topics, in particular Senate and House elections and the pro-life movement. She also hosts two of the magazine's podcasts. 

She has written for a wide range of publications including the Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic, and is also a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC. 

Alexandra recalls many Oakcrest moments that left an impression on her. Some of her favorite memories include the field trips she took all around the DC area, and the time her class spent together, especially on junior and senior retreats. She enjoyed participating in Middle and Upper School shows, running track and cross country, and playing on the softball team. 

Alexandra credits her English and Theology classes in particular with preparing her for life after high school. "When I got to college, I was especially grateful that Oakcrest had provided me with so many years of excellent education in theology, including Church history, moral theology, and Sacred Scripture," she notes. "I also loved studying philosophy, which helped shape my understanding of the purpose of life and my vocation." 

Alexandra's advice for current Oakies: "Don't ever be afraid to do what you know is right or to defend what you believe, even if it makes you unpopular. Work hard to find where your talents and your vocation are leading you, and pursue that calling to the best of your ability. Stay close to your faith and the sacraments, find friends who will support you, and trust that your joyful witness to the truth will bear fruit in time."

Alexandra DeSanctis is a staff writer at National Review and publishes regular reporting and commentary for both the National Review print magazine and National Review Online. She hosts the National Review podcast “For Life” and speaks on college campuses and for conservative events across the country. Prior to becoming a staff writer, Alexandra spent two years as a William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow in Political Journalism with the National Review Institute. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in political science and minors in constitutional studies and theology. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Washington Examiner, America magazine, and the Human Life Review.