Mollie Dixie Beek is the Gulliver Prep Silver Knight nominee for English and Literature. It’s a good fit for Beek because they just happen to be her favorite subjects.
“I love reading and analyzing,” Beek says. “Writing has always been one of my passions. I love writing essays and I love researching.”
Beek, a senior at Gulliver, also spends time volunteering. She is committed to helping Chai Lifeline, an organization she has been working with since her bat mitzvah. For her mitzvah project, she asked people to make a donation to the organization.
“Chai Lifeline provides medical services and attention to children, and also helps their family to be with them,” she says. “Often the parents can’t afford the treatment. It allows the children to get the treatment and it allows the family to be with them.”
The organization helps seriously ill children and their families by addressing emotional, financial and social needs.
Even now, Beek continues to donate money to the group. “Every summer when I would go to sleep-away camp or a summer program, my family and I would also pay for a child to go to the Chai Lifeline camp,” she says. “There is this camp that is sponsored by Chai Lifeline; it provides the sleep-away experience and it is staffed by doctors.”
Beek says she has been aware of Chai Lifeline since she was a child.
“It’s really important to me,” she says. “I know what the pain of having a family member needing medical treatment and not knowing what is going to happen.”
Beek and her family know the problem of dealing with that kind of medical situation because her grandfather suffered bleeding on the brain a couple of years ago.
“His ability to recover and get through that was very inspirational,” she says.
For his birthday last year, Beek says the family asked for money that would be donated for a community room.
“It’s like a waiting room for them, a place to stay before they see the doctor,” she says. “A nice room for them to sit.”
At Gulliver Prep, Beek is president of two clubs — Uniteen, a community service club, and Happy Hands, the school knitting club.
“Every year Uniteen has a talent show,” Beek says. “This year we hosted a talent show and raised $2,000.”
The money will be donated to an organization that works in Africa called Charity Water and will be used to build a well. Beek also enjoys being president of Happy Hands.
“Two years ago, my science teacher taught me to knit,” she says. If you wanted to learn how to knit, it was an opportunity. Now, I can knit scarves and hats. It’s easy to catch on and it’s creative.”
Last year, club members knitted caps for Hats Off For Cancer. However, this year the club is concentrating on creativity.
“We have about 20 students and some of them are amazing knitters,” Beek says. “Some can even make stuffed animals. We start the beginners with scarves and once they master that, they move on to crocheting beanies. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to sell more. We mainly sell them at school.”
Next year, Beek will go away at college and study either art history or English history. She applied to the University of Pennsylvania, Washington University, NYU, Princeton, Tufts and Wesleyan. Her long term goal is to write books or poetry.
— By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld