Model UN Member, Gryphon Council, Service Initiator, Future Biologist
In her grade 11 year, Olivia led the backstage crew in the smash-hit, musical production of American Idiot. It's an experience she enjoyed, and the show was a total success with a packed house each night. This year? Well, Olivia has decided to switch things up and has set her sights onstage, and that's not all: she's also leading and planning service events, serving as director of communications for the senior council, steering delegates in the model united nations, and graduating from the Diploma Programme with plans for post-secondary on the go.
Well rounded and unbounded. That's Olivia.
Tell me about the Cops for Cancer Project. What got you interested
I decided to join the Cops for Cancer team because I immediately felt a connection to the cause. Starting in February, we planned and held smaller events to raise funds for the Cops for Cancer benefit dinner, which we hosted; we treated about 55 members of the Cops for Cancer tour team to dinner and a show in the middle of their rigorous tour (which is a first in both their history and ours!).
Also in attendance were some parents, teachers, and students from the Meadowridge community. I think everyone who came from the Meadowridge community truly valued the opportunity to get to talk to some of the amazing police officers who have donated their time and energy to such a worthy cause.
That's a big project to take on. How did your team make it happen?
We first met to brainstorm possible fundraising ideas before presenting them to our teacher leader, Ms. Higginson, and our Cops for Cancer liaison. Of course, there were some conflicts during the discussions among team members over which ideas should actually be carried out.
I think everyone who came from the Meadowridge community truly valued the opportunity to get to talk to some of the amazing police officers who have donated their time and energy to such a worthy cause.
As a team leader, the method I employed for dealing with these conflicts was very systematic and logic-based. I led the other team members to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of each possibility, and then decide which idea had the most merit. This way, everyone can see where the decision came from and is satisfied with the final outcome.
Are you a do-er or a delegator?
I believe that part of being a good leader is knowing when to "do" and when to "delegate". By nature, I am really a "doer". However, I have learned through experience that almost all of the time, delegating responsibilities leads to the best outcome because the contributions of others add a lot of value to the final outcome - this way, the product is greater than the sum of its parts.
Tell me a little about your position as Secretary and Director of Communications with the Senior Gryphon Council.
As the Secretary and Director of Communications on Senior Council, I am responsible for things such as taking minutes during every meeting, overseeing school-wide publications, organizing assemblies, and managing communication within council. I was originally attracted to this position because as a naturally organized person, I thought my skills and experience would be really valuable in making Senior Council the best it can be.
On top of everything, you're also involved with the Senior Play. What will you be doing?
After being the stage manager for our musical American Idiot last year, I decided that this year I'd like to have a part onstage in order to further my understandings of theatre from all aspects. In addition, I have expressed my interest in having involvement with the creative development of the play. Auditions for the play just happened last week, so I'm not sure what kind of role I will be assigned just yet!
How do you infuse elements of creativity (the things you'd employ on set in the play), with your other roles in the school?
To quote Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is "...doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." I keep this mantra in mind whenever I'm acting in a position of leadership. If something isn't working, change strategies.
How does this all tie in with your post-secondary aspirations? Any idea what you'd like to pursue?
Interestingly enough, I would like to major in biomedical sciences at university. However, I still plan on being involved with extracurricular activities like student government and theatrical productions. I think that activities like these are important to take part in, in order to maintain a sense of well-roundedness. I have gained a massive appreciation for both the importance of the arts, and the importance of service during my time at Meadowridge.