Senior Spotlight: Amelia Hamilton


Amelia Hamilton in one of her hand-sewn dresses

Lola Tiffany, Writer

Growing up by Amelia’s side brought a childhood of comfort, adventure, laughs, and simple pleasures. Our friendship was built on a mutual love for Star Wars, but quickly grew into a relationship where I felt understood for the first time in my life. Amelia is a person with many layers and substance, the more you talk to her the more you want to keep talking to her. 

For as long as she can remember, Amelia has been a very creative person. I remember her making these incredibly complex paper snowflakes in elementary school that would blow everyone away the anticipated day before winter break. “I consider myself a very artsy, crafty person but I can’t draw or paint at all. So, I do a lot of sewing, ceramic sculpting, and hands on work where I can feel the medium.” This fall, she is heading to Oregon State to study fashion design. Whether this takes her in the direction of business ownership or working for a bigger company, all signs point to success for her. 

Amelia described to me how tedious the sewing process is, but the final product that shows her hard work makes it all worth it. I think this shows a lot about her, she has always been a patient but equally passionate person which creates the perfect balance for her aspirations.

Something I love about Amelia is how much depth she has. Her allure is just a part of who she is, so much so that she was confused when I asked for this interview because she didn’t think she was particularly interesting. Her individuality spans throughout her whole personality by taking on several identities that contribute to the lovely person she is.

One part of herself that she has learned in the past few years is that she is autistic. This diagnosis has allowed her to understand certain parts of herself on a deeper level and explain some behaviors she has seen her whole life. While living as a neurodivergent person brings its struggles, there are some wonderful things that come out of it as well. “It does cause me a good amount of discomfort because of sensory issues. That said, I don’t think people understand how much joy special interests bring you,” she said to me. Her current fascinations include TV shows produced by Ryan Murphy and nail art, and as she said “I can just do one of my hobbies and feel like I’m on molly.”

Amelia also had the experience of growing up gay. While Amelia says she has experienced some homophobia from family and others over the years, she is grateful to have grown up in a new generation of queer people who had support when they were young. One of her life-long best friends has two moms, and they were a great source of her understanding of the queer community early in life. “It’s such a gift to be around older queer people because so many of them died in the AIDS epidemic that we kind of have a gap, so I feel very lucky that I had that experience.” There is so much value in growing up around people who are like you, and sadly a lot of kids don’t have that.

A final facet of Amelia that I’ll talk about (there’s so many that it’s hard to choose) is her involvement in Judaism. Antisemitism is still very prominent and she has experienced her fair share of it. She shared with me about a student who used to go to Capital that would make inappropriate and violent remarks about her faith, and little to no punishment was ever administered to him. She would report his behavior any time something was said, which was frequent, and the only person she felt ever helped was her English teacher Ms. Sampson. “Looking back, I don’t remember feeling afraid but recently I had a nightmare that he showed back up at Capital so it obviously had some sort of effect on me.”

Despite the negativity, growing up Jewish was most of all fun for Amelia. She has very fond memories of going to synagogue, being fed cookies, and her friends she made. I was lucky enough to be at her Bat Mitzvah and it was one of my favorite experiences. Being introduced to that part of her life gave me great insight into who she is and how she grew up.

I see Amelia as a person who embraces who she is in a beautifully confident way. I am who I am because I grew up with her by my side, and I know she’s made that same impact on many other people. I have looked up to her my whole life and continue to do so, she has an ability to make great impacts despite her quiet exterior.