Alexander McLemore – Florida Nomination & Photography by Kelly McLemore Issue 72 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Alex McLemore is a remarkable teen! He is a senior at Saint Stephen's Episcopal School in Bradenton, Florida. At school, he is a member of the National Honor Society and founder/president of the Ability Awareness Club, a club dedicated to spreading awareness for those with mental and physical impairments. This was sparked by his involvement as a camp counselor at Dream Oaks, which is a year-round weekend and summer residential camp for children with disabilities. In his free time, Alex’s other love is being on stage! He performs at varying community theaters. He hopes to pursue Musical Theater.
Photography by Kelly McLemore
What is the Ability Awareness Club and what does it do to accomplish spreading awareness for those with mental and physical impairments? The Ability Awareness Club was created to spread awareness for those with mental and physical impairments. I host meetings where we look at certain conditions and learn how to better understand them.
Why was starting this club important to you? It was important to me to start this club at my school because I noticed an underlying current misunderstanding regarding people with disabilities at my school, so I decided to start a club dedicated to educating my peers to reduce further harmful misunderstandings.
How would you describe your leadership style? I would say I am an assertive and gracious leader. I expect a lot from my editorial team, and I want to push them to be the best versions of themselves. Also, I try to handle all of them with grace; I try to understand why they may not have completed their work or what outside circumstances they may be undergoing.
What do you love most about working at Dream Oaks? I just love the environment. It’s a place where everyone is free to be themselves; I’ve never been somewhere so accepting in my life. I love getting to make a difference in the kids’ lives. Every time they step foot into Dream Oaks, they ignite with happiness.
What are your roles and responsibilities there? I am a junior counselor, which means I am an experienced counselor who is able to lead a cabin group. I am on call 24 hours a day in order to help care for my assigned cabin group
Photography by Kelly McLemore
What has been your favorite performance? My favorite performance had to be Pippin in Pippin. When I first started singing, I used Pippin’s opening song as a guide to where I wanted to progress in my vocal journey; now, five years later, I played Pippin. That in itself was a surreal experience.
If you could be in any Broadway show, which one would it be, who would you play, and why would this be your choice? I would love to join the cast of Wicked. Though basic, the message of the show is phenomenal. It’s a tale of self-acceptance and true friendship. Also, Wicked is most people’s first Broadway show they see, so to be able to hopefully be an actor who helps people get into musical theater would be a dream come true.
Photography by Jaime Slavinsky
What are you most looking forward to in your senior year? I’m looking forward to making this last year with my friends one to remember! A lot of us are going to be moving away for college, and I just want to make the best of our time together.
What advice do you have to underclassmen? Find something you love and never let it go. I felt so lost going through high school not having a passion; then, I found theater. Theater has been a guiding light that has helped me navigate the planning of my future. If you feel lost, think about what brings you joy, and what you enjoy doing, then find how to make a career or life out of that. In order to live your fullest life, you have to live your happiest life.
Look for Alexander in issue 72 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!