For Judy Gallagher ‘00, Oakcrest was a school that inspired excellence. “I was motivated to strive for my full potential,” she says.
The Oakcrest classes that stand out for her were her philosophy classes, especially the discussion of metaphysics. “Studying first principles and ultimate causes of the universe gives our Catholic faith authenticity, because we are not afraid to engage on and debate the deep philosophical issues,” she explains. “At Oakcrest we were always able to challenge the intersection of faith and reason and put to proof that true faith and true reason do not conflict.” She recalls how her Oakcrest education helped her hone her time management and study skills, and it taught her the importance of backing up arguments with solid research. She remembers doing hours of preparation for an in-class debate and the life lessons that experience taught her. “I learned the value of being the most knowledgeable person in the room when it comes to advocating for a position,” she says.
Judy also had a lot of fun outside the classroom. She played multiple sports at Oakcrest —soccer, basketball, and softball— and served on the Student Council in addition to helping out backstage with the Oakcrest shows. She has great memories of enjoying her classmates and of Oakcrest’s big sister/little sister program.
Judy went to St. Mary’s College of Maryland after graduating from Oakcrest. Following that, she attended Ave Maria Law School and, upon completion of her degree, did a federal appellate clerkship for a year, then took a position at a Washington, DC law firm. Judy and her husband Chris have two children, with a third on the way. Currently, Judy serves as a pro bono attorney with the D.C. Volunteer Lawyers Project. In this position she represents survivors of domestic violence and is a guardian ad litem for at-risk children. “This work has been very rewarding and allowed me to use my degree while out of the traditional workforce,” she says.
When asked what advice she would give to our senior Oakies as they prepare for their next step in life, she says, “Have courage to stand up to the predilections of our time, understanding the truth about the human person, while always loving your neighbor as yourself. We can grow as one in human solidarity by promoting the equal dignity and worth of each individual person as made in the image of God.”