Olivia Zabrodsky is a senior who has achieved academic success at Jamestown High School.
While Olivia considers herself to be well-rounded in all subjects, she most enjoys working with English. According to Olivia, it is the dynamic nature of the language that she likes.
"I like it because when you read or write, you can become someone else," she said. "And you can write stuff from different perspectives. I just love that aspect about it."
Despite her passion for learning about and working with the English language, Olivia plans to major in business and entrepreneurialism when she gets to college.
"I love to work with people, so that would be why I would go for business," she said. "Marketing is definitely something that I've been thinking about. I want to look into business and marketing and see how it can connect with writing and reading."
Olivia has submitted applications to her top three college choices of Lehigh University, the University of Rochester and Boston College. She is anticipating spending four years of undergraduate studies at one of these colleges and expects that she will want to continue on to a master's program.
Currently, she has no goal in terms of an employer, but she is taking a flexible approach as to where she may end up.
"I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do, but as long as I'm working with people, I know I'll be happy," she said. "I'm definitely open-minded about it. Traveling is something that I love to do, so it would be awesome to have a job where I could travel and work with people."
By the time she graduates from JHS, Olivia will have earned 19 college credits. This was achieved through her successful completion of eight advanced placement courses, including: psychology, U.S. history, calculus, European history, English 11 and 12, environmental science and chemistry.
According to Ashley Noon, Olivia's guidance counselor, Olivia has made the most of her studies.
"Olivia is such a hardworking, motivated and conscientious student," said Noon. "She's consistently challenged herself in all subject areas, taking full advantage of AP and college-level coursework."
Olivia currently holds administrative positions in several clubs at JHS. She is co-president of Honor Society, president of the environmental club and treasurer of student council.
She is also involved in key club, concert band, a capella and madrigals as well as indoor and outdoor track.
She has participated in knitting club and also takes piano and voice lessons.
Olivia has been commended for creating her own club at JHS called "Speak Up."
"It's a club for bullying awareness," she said. "All over the country, our generation is experiencing bullying, especially cyber-bullying. So it's been a lot of fun to have a group of people who are working to raise awareness in the community about the problem."
Olivia explained that she had one day to petition her classmates for the creation of the club, and she was able to gather more than 80 signatures. The club, which meets after school on Tuesdays, currently has about 20 members and is growing. Olivia is working to get the club into middle schools to talk about the issue of bullying with younger students.
She was nominated for the Standing Out in the Crowd feature by her English teacher, Norma DeJoy.
"During the past 17 years, I have taught hundreds of academically talented students, and I would place Olivia in the top 5 percent of that group," said DeJoy. "Clearly, Olivia chose to make high school a meaningful experience - academically and socially. During her tenure at JHS, Olivia has often single-handedly taken on challenging social issues such as bullying and gender discrimination."
She added: "Personally, when she graduates, I will miss her diligence, her energy, her super-charged personality and her kindheartedness. She is a role model and one of the finest students the class of 2013 has to offer."
As for her academic success, Olivia is quick to give the credit to her teachers.
"The teachers at Jamestown are just awesome, and they do an amazing job at helping anybody that needs it," she said. "I wouldn't say it's me; it's all of them, and they make it easy."