Alycia Long Allen '69 Fund


December 2017 marked the 10-year anniversary of the untimely death of alumna, Alycia Long Allen ’69, the former Head of High School at Forest Ridge.  Alycia embodied the Sacred Heart values and was a true Sacred Heart Educator. Her legacy lives on today.

What is a Sacred Heart Educator? She is an educator who cares deeply about the needs of others and is generous and courageous in service. She addresses the whole person, accepts students as they are, and cares for them with great warmth and kindness.

Alycia cared deeply about inclusivity and championed the needs of her students.  As Acting Head of School, Julie Thenell Grasseschi recalls, “Alycia set out to make a difference in the world for others. She listened to the needs of the girls; the girls of color, the girls who learned differently from their peers, the girls who traveled a distance to get to school, the girls who needed something extra. She knew that each person’s voice mattered and must be heard.” 

Alycia frequently used her personal funds to cover expenses for those who couldn’t afford them. The Alycia Long Allen ’69 Fund was established in 2007 to honor her memory as an alumna and an extraordinary woman. The Fund underwrites regular school necessities for high school students who demonstrate financial need.

To ensure that every student can take part in these many and varied opportunities, Forest Ridge must grow the Alycia Long Allen Fund so that all students can experience the vision she established. Your support will help perpetuate what Alycia started and will provide equal access to all students so they may enjoy all that a Forest Ridge education offers. 

Memories

To this day, I miss her.  Alycia, whom I first met in Biology Class, which I took in the 9th grade, and thus took with the Class of '69, extended herself to make me feel welcome, to help me when I was lost, to offer me some of her pond water when I could find no paramecium in my own (a required lab finding) and to generally crack me up as I made my way through and to boost my confidence in the class. It seemed so fitting that, years later, she was leading the high school, welcoming all the students and encouraging them to believe in their potential.”
- Marie Bone '70

“Among all the French I recall while as a student at Forest Ridge, my favorite phrase is 'joie de vivre' and that is what Alycia lived when we attended school together as students in 1966. Alycia had a certain 'jen ae sais quoi' about students. Whether it be help with friends, school work or life in general, she was there to lend them a hand and encouragement always with a dose of that great 'joie.'”
- Mud McHugh ’70
 
“She was everything to have in a HS principal; my heart still misses her.”
- Karinda Harris ’03
 
“Ms. Allen arrived at Forest Ridge when I needed her most. I told her EVERYTHING, and she never judged me nor did I have to explain much to her and yet I knew she understood. She listened intently while giving her most honest feedback, some that I can't share in this dedication:) but those moments were the ones that still make me laugh and are amongst the many moments I value the most. She was "real" in a way that no other educator and frankly, no other adult had been with me as a teenager.  I appreciated her for it, and I really needed it. There are many lessons that she shared that are just now making sense as I grow in my career, experience the first year of marriage, and even prepare for motherhood. 
 
I regret being the typical teenager that left for college and checked in sporadically. However, I always valued having her to myself for a day or two over vacation and took for granted that she always made time for me. Had I known she'd pass away the day I arrived home from college for Christmas break, I would have done better. 
 
Ten years later, her passing feels no less difficult. I still her miss her and love her, and unfortunately, the closest she could be to my wedding was a photo on our dedication table, instead of walking down the aisle with my parents and grandparents, but she was there as she is always with me.”
- Sheena Reed ’04

“Ms. Allen was such an influence on my high school career and whenever things get rough, especially with school, I remember how much of an inspiration and cheerleader she was to every young woman at FR.”
- Victoria Zinsley '10



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