Allyson Hopper concentrates on community and effecting change.
MAY 9, 2023 BY ABIGAIL MARTIN
Allyson Hopper, the University of Mississippi’s Rebelette captain and Miss University, is devoted to serving her community.
A political science major with an emphasis in law and courts, she aims to attend a law school with a criminal justice program.
“I chose the law and courts emphasis because I wanted to be as prepared as possible going into law school,” Hopper said. “The emphasis has given me a better understanding of the law and how our court system works in the United States.”
After interning with a civil rights lawyer in Louisiana one summer, she knew that the courtroom was where she wanted to be.
“My internship solidified that I want to be an attorney,” Hopper said. “It is so interesting. The lawyer I worked with saw different cases every day. She really helps people – she specializes in workplace discrimination, and I think people’s livelihoods are important to protect.
“I even got to go to trials with her. Overall, it was an awesome experience.”
Hopper’s time at at the university has helped her both discover her passion and work toward a future career.
“I recently got accepted into law school with a huge scholarship,” Hopper said. “Without Ole Miss, I would have never had the courage or confidence to pursue a career in law. My amazing professors have prepared me and helped me throughout this process, and I am so grateful.”
Originally from Mandeville, Louisiana, she was unsure of where she was going to attend college – that is, until she visited campus.
“I came with my grandma on a game day weekend,” Hopper said. “The second we drove past the Oxford Courthouse Square, I got a feeling of home. Throughout my four years, I have loved the small-town community aspect of Oxford, while still being able to go to a big SEC school. It feels like you live in a small town; that’s so comforting and why I’ve loved it here.”
She recently became captain of the Rebelettes, helping lead the squad to a national championship.
“It’s been the best four years,” Hopper said. “It’s rewarding to represent such an amazing university, and to wear Ole Miss across your chest for four years and be a brand ambassador for such an amazing school. I’ve met many incredible people through it. My teammates all four years have been awesome, and it is an experience that I will never forget.
“We won our first-ever national championship this year, the Game Day Division at nationals. That was awesome – to be a part of a program that has come such a long way these last four years – and I’m excited to see where the program goes in the future.”
One of Hopper’s favorite memories is the first time she did a Grove show with the Rebelettes.
“It’s exciting to see the atmosphere at Ole Miss on game day,” she said. “There’s nothing like it. And it was so, so much fun to be a part of that – to do what I love, which is to dance.”
When Hopper was chosen as Miss University, she was already serving the community in her free time, but her duties as Miss University allowed her to help even more people through service projects.
“I will compete in the Mississippi pageant in June representing Ole Miss,” she said. “That will be exciting because I could compete for Miss America if I win at the state level. Miss University has been a great way to wrap up my senior year by being involved with different organizations on campus.”
Consistently throughout her academic career, Hopper has dedicated a significant portion of her free time to serve others in the community. She has pioneered several statewide initiatives attacking the opioid epidemic as an ambassador for Stand Up Mississippi. She also is a member of the Happiness Team.
“The Happiness Team is a part of the William Magee Center for AOD and Wellness Education on campus,” Hopper said. “Basically, everyone on the Happiness Team has had some sort of a relationship or they’ve been affected by the opioid epidemic and addiction in some way.
“Through the center, we tell our stories to audiences – people in that community – in hopes that the story touches them, and we make a difference.”
Hopper was a guest speaker at National Overdose Awareness Day, where she shared how addiction has influenced her life.
“Several years ago, my grandfather passed away from an overdose, so I started attacking addiction,” she said. “Not only for those that are addicted and going through recovery, but to help kids and family members of those who are addicted. I partnered with organizations like the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. It’s been great to make a difference on this campus and throughout the state.”
On top of all this, Hopper has been a teacher for the competition team at Oxford Elite Dance Co. since her sophomore year on campus.
“It’s a big part of my life,” Hopper said. “I love teaching kids, and I love watching them grow up. Even when I have a job after college, I will always find time to teach dance.”
Hopper’s LinkedIn page sums up her priorities and goals:
“Because of all of my responsibilities, I have learned how to manage my time and still keep school my top priority. My teammates and coworkers would describe me as friendly and resilient. I am always on time and I am a great team player.”
With graduation in sight, Hopper said she’s taking her future one thing at a time.
“I will start law school in August, and I am focused on being the best student I can,” she said. “I am excited to see where it takes me in the future with a profession in the legal field.”