is an actor and educator with the “HOPE Drama Troupe,” a group of teen volunteers who write and perform skits that educate children and adults about child abuse. After acting for several years in community playhouse productions and children’s drama groups, Alison picked up a flyer announcing auditions for HOPE. Somehow she knew she had to become involved, even though the greatest inspiration didn’t come until several months later. “I knew how terrible child abuse was when I began working with HOPE, but the stories and facts gained a face when one of my friends told me she was being abused,” said Alison. “I had the knowledge to get her help. This gave me the energy and motivation to put in everything I had for the next five years.” A large commitment is required for HOPE. Alison spends many hours each week writing scripts, building sets, locating costumes and props, and recruiting new members. She also participates in an annual summer retreat, rehearses twice a week throughout the school year, and acts in frequent performances. Her free time is spent studying lines. Alison believes it’s worth the effort. “Every time I see a child in the audience cry or come forward to speak to a counselor, I feel especially good about what I am doing. I know I have touched someone’s life,” she said.