Each year, seniors from The Hill School, Owen J. Roberts, Pottsgrove, and Pottstown High Schools have the opportunity to enter the Shandy Hill Essay Contest sponsored by the Greater Pottstown Foundation. The writer of the winning essay is granted a $30,000 scholarship to be used throughout the student's four years of college. We recently learned Lexi Lombardi '20 (Willow Grove, Pa.) - who wrote an essay titled "Dear Pottstown" - is the recipient of this year's grant.
Local journalist Evan Brandt featured an article submitted by the Greater Pottstown Foundation about Lexi's accomplishment for his "Digital Notebook" blog. Below is an excerpt from that article.
Lexi’s essay, entitled “Dear Pottstown” was written in the form of a “goodbye letter” to the Town of Pottstown and the people that live and work here. She expressed sorrow that she had to leave so quickly and unexpectedly as The Hill School was closing early this past spring due to the COVID pandemic.
In her essay, Lexi said that, three years ago as a high-school freshman, she hadn’t yet formed any goals or real direction for her life. But what helped her was that after she took up residence at The Hill, she fell in love with the town of Pottstown and the people here.
She volunteered her time for the Pottstown Cares Program, and also the Salvation Army in town, helping with such things as sorting donations and serving meals. She enjoyed getting off campus whenever she could to explore different parts of the surrounding area and enjoyed interacting with the people she met.
Unlike what she was used to, the people in Pottstown seemed always ready with a friendly greeting or conversation, or even just a reassuring smile. She described the Pottstown local residents and business owners as “welcoming, understanding, and just generally amazing people” who have “molded me as a person”, and in a greater sense, “brought meaning to my life.”
As a result, Lexi started doing the same, and strived to treat others in the same fashion. She became driven to try to always interact with others in a way that would “bring even the smallest ray of sunshine to an otherwise gloomy day.”