Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Meet Elizabeth Hodgson

Elizabeth Hodgson cares deeply about the world around her. Whether she's founding a second grade "Save the Earth" Club, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, or feeding hungry children through The Kind Mouse, Elizabeth feels a strong duty to care for the overlooked and underserved. For that reason, the aspiring doctor was drawn to the Honors Medical Scholars program at FSU, a highly selective pre-med track that allows undergraduates access to the FSU College of Medicine community.  

"The FSU medical school's mission is to help underserved populations," she explains. Elizabeth frequently seeks out opportunities to help the neediest among her community. For the past two years, she's been actively involved with The Kind Mouse, a local nonprofit that helps to feed chronically hungry children in the St. Petersburg area. "After learning the realities of some kids like me not having enough to eat, I knew I had to do something," she reflects.

Elizabeth's work with The Kind Mouse began simply with packing food for weekend snack bags. "It was relaxing," Elizabeth laughs, "I like organizing things!" Beyond sorting and packing food, Elizabeth became a part of the Mice Intern Program, a student leadership and advocacy group.

"In addition to hosting food drives and raising awareness, we learned how nonprofits operate, brainstormed ideas to improve our fundraisers, and mentored the younger volunteers in the Mice in Training program."

The Kind Mouse founder and CEO Gina Wilkins says, "Elizabeth is always the first to volunteer for a project and is never afraid to tackle a new task. She is a forward thinker and strives to make the lives of the less fortunate more comfortable." Elizabeth's work with The Kind Mouse earned her a People of Distinction Humanitarian Award and a nomination for a WEDU Be More Rising Star Award.  

As President of the Mice Interns, Elizabeth ran her own board meetings and represented The Kind Mouse at various community events, where she'd often make remarks on behalf of the organization.

Characteristically quiet and soft-spoken, Elizabeth credits her time in Jake Seymour's English class with giving her the skills and confidence to speak in public.

"I used to be terrible at public speaking," she admits. "It was really through Mr. Seymour's class - part of his class is public speaking - that I became more comfortable with it." Not only did she become comfortable, but she became confident to take the risk of assuming leadership roles.

"I ran for leadership in Interact, in Pre-Med Club, and at The Kind Mouse." Determined to push herself out of her comfort zone, Elizabeth has been pleased to find that public speaking becomes easier for her with each opportunity.
This skill came in handy during the college admissions process as she met with admissions reps and student ambassadors. When applying for the FSU program, she first had to gain acceptance to the university, then to the Honors Program, and then interview at the College of Medicine to be considered for the select cohort of Medical Scholars students. The class of 11 students will benefit from participation in a special seminar course, a mentorship program, premed prerequisite courses and advisement from the College of Medicine, medical and community volunteer activities, and membership in the Honors Medical Scholars Society. She'll also have the opportunity to apply early decision to the FSU College of Medicine.

Through the Center for Medical Sciences at Shorecrest, Elizabeth feels prepared to take on the challenge of this rigorous college track. "Mrs. Peck helped us so much," she says. It was through Lisa Peck that Elizabeth learned of the Medical Explorers Program at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, a program that has been particularly impactful for Elizabeth. "From everything I've learned, I really think I want to study neurology."

As dedicated as she is to her pursuit of medicine, Elizabeth doesn't feel defined by it. She strives for balance in her studies and extracurricular pursuits. Unsatisfied with simply breadth of study, she works toward mastery. Elizabeth is a member of honor societies for almost every subject, including Mu Alpha Theta, Rho Kappa, National Honor Society, and Cum Laude.
"Painting is a great stress reliever for me," she says. Elizabeth finds beauty and inspiration all around her. In fact, for her senior AP Studio Art portfolio she did a series on someone who was by her side everyday for most of her life - her dog Reagan.

Her talent and skill shine through her artwork. Equally, if not more important, though, is her work ethic. According to Elizabeth's art instructor Charla Gaglio, "She wants to learn and improve her work, asking questions and taking direction well."

Mrs. Gaglio is one of the many teachers who feel like family to Elizabeth, who has been a part of the school community ever since she was just a toddler. "My dad [7th grade History teacher David Hodgson] started teaching here when I was 2, then the next year I was in Alpha. I have such a strong connection with this school and the community."

When asked what legacy she wants to leave the school community, she responds, "I hope that more students and teachers at Shorecrest will be aware of hunger in the community and feel inspired to help in whatever way possible. I hope that with that awareness will come understanding and compassion for others. And the work with The Kind Mouse will continue with Lily Schneider ‘19, Sarah K., Lauren K., Brecken P., and many more Mice that will be inspired to join the mission of the Mouse."

Just as Elizabeth has brought her passion for The Kind Mouse to Shorecrest, she's committed to bringing the Shorecrest Core Values - Responsibility, Respect, Integrity, Knowledge and Compassion - to FSU.

Shorecrest Preparatory School

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191
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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.