- Hannah Stokes, senior
- Marist School
Hannah Stokes is a volleyball champion and the recipient of the Coach’s Award, bestowed upon seniors for their athletic abilities, exemplary sportsmanship, and character.
“Hannah is a remarkable leader, athlete and role model with a sense of values, compassion and energy,” said Gordon Stanley, Stokes’ guidance counselor.
In addition to leading students’ retreats through Marist and being voted “Most Dependable” by her classmates, Hannah, who lives in Sandy Springs, has been participating in missionary trips to Nicaragua in Central America. The trips are sponsored by her Brookhaven high school.
Stokes recently spent her spring break digging a trench for a water line in a small village in Nicaragua.
“The people in this village have to travel about six miles, mostly by foot, to the nearest place where they can get water,” she said. “Those who have horses and wagons are the lucky ones.”
Stokes said she was mostly moved by a 6-year-old girl she met in the village who had a high fever because of an infection, and whose family did not have anything to relieve her symptoms. The village was more than a two-hour drive from Managua, Nicaragua’s capital, and the distance poses a problem for village residents, especially those facing life-threatening situations, Hannah said.
While holding her in her arms, Stokes said she thought of all the contributions she could make to the village by coming back and living and working there as a pediatrician. Stokes said the idea of becoming a pediatrician was always in her mind, but became more of a mission as the result of this “spiritual experience” at the village.
Inspired by her experiences in Nicaragua, Hannah applied and was accepted into the pre-medicine program at the College of Holy Cross in western Massachusetts. She plans to enroll this fall and to major in biology and chemistry.
“I plan to one day to return to Nicaragua and help treat the children there. Everything seems to point in that direction,” she said. “The place holds a piece of my heart.”