Hannah Lu (‘21) was drawn to Oakcrest in sixth grade because of the joyful community she experienced when she visited. Now in her senior year, she still cherishes the kindness and warmth that she encounters in her classmates and teachers at school every day.
“My favorite thing about Oakcrest is the people,” she says. “My class has become my second family, my teachers are always open to engaging in both intellectual and personal conversations, and I have so many role models to look up to from my classmates, mentors, and teachers.” She has found these conversations and relationships everywhere, from the classroom to the playing field. Hannah notes that the most memorable class she’s taken at Oakcrest has been AP Chemistry. Although it was a difficult class, she loved solving problems with her classmates and learning the beauty of collaboration. Other great moments of camaraderie come to Hannah’s mind. “Some of my favorite Oakcrest memories include winning the PVAC Track championships by a landslide in 8th grade and going out for pizza afterward, or the junior retreat when we were stuck at the retreat center for two extra hours so we got to listen to Ms. Salls' conversion story by the fireplace,” she recalls.
In addition to her rigorous studies, Hannah has many extracurricular interests. She was captain of the Cross Country team last fall and also runs for Oakcrest’s Varsity Track team. In both of these sports, she has won numerous honors. In track, she took first place in the 400x800m relay at the 2018 Regional and State Championships, the 2019 Draper Invitational, and the 2019 VISAA State Championships. At the PVAC Regional Championships in 2018 and 2019, she took second place in the 800m individual. She also earned a spot in the First Team All Conference for 2018 and 2019. In Cross Country, Hannah was the runner up at the 2018 PVAC Regional Championships, MVP in 2017 and 2018, and earned a Leadership Award in 2020.
Besides athletics, she competes in the Science Olympiad and is a member of the Mathematics Honor Society. She also plays harp with Oakcrest’s Harp Circle, which has given her the chance to perform in a variety of venues. Over the summer of 2020, Hannah put her musical talents to use by organizing a student concert to raise money for COVID relief for INOVA. Participants made videos of themselves performing different pieces of music and Hannah played the harp. Their efforts raised $3,000. When not involved in something at school, Hannah loves exploring the outdoors and baking and watching movies with her two sisters.
As Hannah prepares to graduate this spring, she is grateful for the foundation and gifts that Oakcrest has given her and looks forward to a new next stage in her life. “I'm excited to go to college and start my journey of becoming a physician,” she says. “I remember in Ms. Fortunato's 6th grade science class, we watched the movie Gifted Hands about a surgeon separating conjoined twins at the head. And while many of my classmates were covering their eyes at the sight of blood, I was so fascinated by the surgery and felt like I had just witnessed a miracle. I'm so grateful to Oakcrest because the science teachers here have really helped me discover my love for science and encouraged me to pursue medicine. My time at Oakcrest has also taught me that I enjoy helping and connecting with people, so my dream is to become a doctor.”