My name is Tara McDermott and I graduated from East Lake with the class of 2012. I am in my final weeks at The Willows Academy and am very excited to be attending The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, this fall. I will be studying vocal performance at their music school, and possibly supplementing my degree with a minor in education. Music has been a passion of mine from the time I started singing with the auditioned Barrington Children’s Choir, eight years ago. I recently had my last choir concert, in which I sang a Capella piece with the choir’s three other graduating seniors. Barrington Children’s Choir, along with the Willows Chamber Choir, with whom I have sung for 3 years, have been some of my favorite and most treasured activities in high school.
I have had many exciting opportunities since graduating from East Lake, and I see East Lake as one of the biggest blessings in my life. The teachers at East Lake, the Legionaries, the Consecrated and the missionaries helped shape me and gave me a strong foundation, most importantly in my faith and love for Christ, but also academically. I have had a successful academic career at The Willows. I have been in all honors or AP classes. I am a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Tri-M Music Honor Society. I received both academic and music scholarships, from Catholic University.
East Lake also fostered my love for service. Another of my favorite high school memories is going on a 10 day mission trip to Mexico last summer. There, I worked on the construction of a newly built church, worked with the village children on catechesis, and helped to plan and execute a wedding ceremony and reception for several couples who were married sacramentally after being civilly married for many years. I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to go on another mission trip in the future!
Another highlight in my high school career was attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, just this past March. I went with a group of approximately 25 high school girls from around the country, including Hannah Kelly (East Lake’s current missionary) and Alida Blendonohy (2013 ELA alum).