Alexandra DeSanctis '12
University of Notre Dame
For Alexandra DeSanctis ('12), 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."