Junior finds balance through a variety of activities
Assistant Copy Editor
December 9, 2021
Mallory Hopper is a junior at Westfield who portrays leadership in a variety of roles; she balances it all through organization, passion, support, and being present.
Hopper dabbles in a little bit of everything. She is president of the Environmental Club while also staying involved in yearbook, cross country, track, and Dance Marathon. Simultaneously, she balances these hobbies with her schooling, family, and social life, not unlike many others at Westfield.
“Balancing it all is definitely a challenge, but I’ve figured things out,” Hopper said. “The best thing for me is to make a document and type out all the things I need to do. I sort things in a list of [priorities] … I also enjoy all of the things I’m involved in, so [that] makes it easier to get things done.”
Taking initiative is the first step to making a local difference and a key part of Hopper’s involvement. Hopper’s love for the environment encouraged her to reach out to Ms. O’Neal her sophomore year.
“Environmental Club was technically a club already, but it was extremely small and pretty much no one knew about it,” Hopper said. “I joined and became president because I wanted to make a difference. I’ve always loved gardening and helping the environment, and it was such a good fit… O’Neal and I are able to bounce ideas off each other and come up with some really cool things.”
But with big responsibilities comes a lot of pressure, and a leader’s supporters are a vital part of managing the stress and being successful. Hopper’s biggest supporters are Owen Flynn (11) and her mom.
“[Owen] is my best friend and he also just gets me pumped up for anything and helps me when I’m down or not feeling it,” Hopper said. “My mom is like my base because she taught me to be the person I am. She reminds me to enjoy life and have fun with things!”
Taking her mom’s advice, Hopper and Jessica Mannella (11), a fellow running teammate, have shared some wild and fun moments.
“One of my favorite memories with Mallory was our freshman year at a cross country team dinner when we broke Kyla Kurtis’ dad’s hunting deer because we were trying to ride it like a horse, and we ended up snapping one of the metal rods that was holding it up,” Mannella said.
And just as Hopper’s supporters encourage her, the opposite is true as well: Hopper takes the time to support her friends and family. Mannella says Hopper inspires her to be the best version of herself.
“She always radiates this contagious energy that always fills up the room,” Mannella said. “Being around her is the equivalent to being a solar panel soaking up the sun.”
Westfield Girls Head Cross Country Coach, Whitney Bevins, agrees that Mallory has gained influence as a leader, specifically at practice.
“Mallory is a confident, vocal leader,” Bevins said. “She’s not afraid to step up and take on a project.”
Being influential to those around you doesn’t just happen overnight; it takes time to gain influence, and one must be willing to put in the effort.
“Advice I would give to someone wanting to make a difference is to get involved, whether that’s volunteering in the community or joining a club!” Hopper said. “Another thing would be supporting small shops and businesses. There’s so many local things in Westfield. We have a whole farmer’s market!”