If an interest in criminal justice can be inherited, Trinity senior Alexandra Arp certainly has the gene.
“Both of my parents (Carol and Robert) went to law school, so I have that justice/law bone in my body,” Arp said.
All it took to make the genetic impulse toward criminal justice active was a class on the psychology of crime that she took through an online high school program that allows students to take classes in subjects not offered at their home school.
Arp has been working on the Real Life/Real Issues: Juvenile Justice task force as well. The group, which consists of one student from each local high school, meets once a month at the Cumberland County Bar Association in Carlisle. Arp said the group has been working on a “modern video” of the lifelong effects of having a juvenile criminal record in conjunction with WITF.
Though there will be some acted scenes, Arp said the group has been trying to talk to people who have gone through the system for the video.
“Some problems they have when they are younger they might still face as adults,” she said. “They might always carry that burden with them.”
Arp said she’s still in the process of choosing a college, but is considering combining her interest in criminal justice with training in American Sign Language so that she can serve as a lawyer and interpreter for deaf people.
That makes sense for a student who also talks often about helping other people, whether that is people in one of the poorest areas of the country or her own school
Arp said her senior year has been “fun” as she served as the student council president. Not only was she able to express her creativity in planning dances for the student body, but she also led the student council in giving students more of a role in bringing needs to the administration. Though the students may not receive what they request, “at least [the administration] knows what its students are thinking,” Arp said.
Since seventh grade, she also served on the United Way Student Leadership Council, which she admits has had its ups and downs, but is in the process of rebuilding. The group organizes volunteer service projects and was responsible for starting the Glee competition. They hope to soon be able to organize a fundraiser of their own.
“It’s a good way to meet people similar to myself who have an interest in helping,” Arp said.
But Arp saves the most enthusiasm for when she talks about the mission trips she has taken to the Appalachia region of Kentucky with Life Teen, the youth group from St. Patrick’s Parish in Carlisle. While there, small groups are assigned to a family whom they serve throughout the trip.
“We repair things for them, but we really go to build relationships with them. And not only do we change them and help them fix their house, but they really change us,” she said.